What are Sentences? A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. A sentence must have a subject and a verb, but it may or may not have an object.
Subject Verb Object
Sally is making a doll.
Wendy and Kim are fighting.
The hedgehog curled up.
Maggie is reading a book.
It is raining.
Dad cooked dinner.
I am flying a kite.
We are eating our breakfast.
They are washing the dishes.
The dentist is examining Susan’s teeth.
The old couple have no children.
- A sentence that makes a statement begins with a capital letter and ends with a period.
Kinds of Sentences
There are four kinds of sentences.
- A declarative sentence makes a statement.
The children are swimming.
The telephone rang.
Everyone sat down.
- An interrogative sentence asks a question.
Where are the twins?
Are you going shopping today?
What is your name?
- An exclamatory sentence expresses strong emotion.
The silly girl!
How stupid I am!
- An imperative sentence gives an order.
Please sit down.
Tell me the truth.
- Use the base form of a verb to give commands or make direct requests. This use of the verb is called the imperative.
Tidy your bedroom immediately!
Choose a partner!
Eat plenty of vegetables.
Find some nice round pebbles.
Come back soon!
- Imperatives are a very direct way of telling people to do something. Using do or please before an imperative is more polite.
Do sit down.
Do check these figures again.
Please help yourselves to some food. Please don’t change anything on my computer.
- You can also use the helping verb would to sound polite.
Please would you clear the table?
Would you please talk quietly?
Look at the groups of words below. Do you know which are sentences and which are not? Put a checkmark in the space next to sentences, and an X next to other word groups.
1 Mrs. Chen is a good teacher.
2 not well today
3 Do the work yourself.
4 How are you?
5 basic rules of grammar
6 bread and butter
7 Welcome to the National Zoo.
8 brush his teeth
9 toys in the box
10 more than one 11 What is the time now?
12 Sit down!
13 Please come here.
14 Mark is sleeping.
15 Open the door.
The Subject and the Object
The subject of a sentence sometimes does something to someone or something else.
The person or thing that receives the action is called the object.
Subject Verb Object
Susan has bought a painting.
Hannah is reading her book.
The twins climbed the hill.
James stroked the cat.
Mom is holding the baby.
Jacob is making a kite.
They were playing football.
I am writing a story.
Emma crossed the street.
You have forgotten your umbrella.
Direct and Indirect Objects
- Some verbs have two objects. The direct object receives the action of the verb. The indirect object tells to whom or for whom the action is done
Subject Verb Indirect Object Direct Object
The bank lends people money.
Madison is making her doll a dress.
I am writing Grandma a letter.
Grandma is reading Diana a story.
Andrew gave his dog a bone.
We left you some food.
Joshua is showing us his stamps.
Miss Lee found Alice a chair.
- The indirect object usually comes before the direct object.
Read the following sentences. Then draw a line under the subjects and a circle around the objects.
1 Anne has drawn a panda.
2 They are playing table tennis.
3 Little Kate knows the alphabet well.
4 Dad bought a computer.
5 I am writing a letter.
6 Birds have feathers.
7 The workmen are building a house.
8 Samantha has a pretty doll.
9 The children received one gift each.
10 Do you know the answer?
There are two objects in each sentence. Draw a line under the direct objects and a circle around the indirect objects.
1 Dad gave Dave a present.
2 Mom is making the children a meal.
3 Mr. Thomas bought them ice cream cones.
4 I sent Anne a birthday card.
5 Granny told us a story.
6 The waiter brought the guests their drinks.
7 Can I get you a sandwich?
8 The police officer showed us the way to the museum.
Positive and Negative Sentences
A positive sentence tells you that something is so.
A sentence that tells you something is not so is called a negative sentence. It contains a negative word like not, never, no, no one, nobody, none, or a negative verb like isn’t or can’t or won’t.
Positive sentence Negative sentence
Peter is running. He is not walking.
We should tell the truth. We should never tell lies.
Everyone is in the garden. There is no one in the house.
The fridge is empty. There is nothing in it.
It is very cloudy. It isn’t sunny.
I have sold the last newspaper. I have no newspapers left.
Someone has eaten all the cookies There are none in the bag.
There are two kinds of questions: yes or no questions and wh- questions.
Yes or no questions
- You ask a yes or no question to get yes or no as the answer. Use the verbs be, have or do, or any of the helping verbs, to ask yes or no questions. For example:
Can you swim? Yes. Are they coming? No. Is it raining? No. May I come in? Yes.
- In questions, the helping or auxiliary verbs come before the subject of the sentence. When be and have are used as ordinary verbs, they come before the subjects, too.
- Here are some different ways of asking the same question:
Has he a sister called Jane?
Does he have a sister called Jane?
Has he got a sister called Jane?
Jim is ill today. Is Jim ill today?
She has an older brother Has she an older brother?
The cats want to be fed. Do the cats want to be fed?
We should go now. Should we go now?
It will rain tomorrow. Will it rain tomorrow?
You may use my computer. May I use your computer?
Kate can ride a bike. Can Kate ride a bike?
- Wh- questions usually include the verbs be, have, do, or any of the helping verbs.
- To ask for facts, use the question words what, which, who, whom, how, when, where. The helping verbs in wh- questions usually come before the subject. So does the verb be when it is used as an ordinary verb.
What is David saying?
How did you get up here?
Why was the girl crying?
Which color do you prefer?
Who is she going to invite to her party?
Whom is she going to invite to her party?
When do the stores open in the morning?
Where shall I put this box?
Whose dictionary is this?
- If the wh- question word is the subject of the question, it comes before the verb. For example:
Who told you that?
What made you change your mind?
Write short answers to the following questions.
Example: Is he tall? Yes, he is.
1 Do you know the answer? Yes, ___________.
2 Is Sara at home? No, ___________.
3 Do they know any grammar? Yes, ___________.
4 Are all of you coming to my house this evening? Yes, ___________.
5 Is Mrs. Chen your English teacher? No, __________.
6 Can you dance? No, ___________.
Fill in the blanks with the correct question words from the box.
where when why how whose what who which
1 ________ is your house?
2 ________ wallet is this?
3 ________ are you always late?
4 ________ wrote this book?
5 ________ of the two boys is smarter?
6 ________ size do you wear?
7 ________ old is he?
8 ________ is Jeff going to get a haircut?