The sentence: some basics
(2021 ജൂലായ് ലക്കം)
A sentence is a group of words which makes complete sense.
It contains at least one subject and one predicate.
The subject denotes the person or thing about which something is said.
Subject is – the does or the action.
To find out the subject, we ask two questions to the verb – (1) who and (2) what?
The covid-19 is going to continue
Who + is going to continue? = no answer
What + is going to continue? = covid-19
Subject: the covid-19
The Predicate is what is said about
A number of students
Birds of the same feather
Jack and Jill
scored high marks
went up the hill
In the predicate part a verb is essential.
The subject may consist of one word or several words. When the subject consists of several words, the main word is called Subject Word.
Barking dogs (dogs – subject word)
A number of students (students – subject word)
Birds of the same feather (birds – subject word)
Jack and Jill (Jack and Jill – subject word)
When the predicate consists of several words, the essential word in it is always a verb.ie: the chief word in the predicate is the verb.
The object is a noun or a noun equivalent.
To find out object, ask four questions. The questions begin from the verb. In some cases, we will get two answers. That means the verb has two objects. One is called Direct Object and the other Indirect Object.
eg: 1)Vipin gave hima pen
gave + what? = a pen (direct object)
gave + whom? = him (indirect object)
gave + for whom? = no answer
gave + to whom? = no answer
2) Harigave a pen to him
gave + what? = a pen (direct object)
gave + whom? = no answer
gave + for whom? = no answer
gave + to whom? = him (indirect object)
3) Moly made a suit for the boy
made + what? = a suit (direct object)
made + whom? = no answer
made + for whom? = the boy (indirect object)
made + to whom? = no answer
In some sentences subject and verb together make complete sense.
eg: 1)Dogs bark (complete sense)
2) Children play (complete sense)
In the following sentences, sense is incomplete.
eg: 1) Dogs are (incomplete idea)
2) Children are (incomplete idea)
If we add intelligent to the first one, we can have complete sense.
Dogs are intelligent.
Intelligent makes the meaning complete. It is called complement.
In the second example, if we add ‘industrious’, we get complete idea.
Children are industrious
Industrious makes the meaning complete. So industrious is a complement.
Verbs like is, was, are, were, am, seem, appear, look, become, grow, feel etc. need complement.
Complement of an intransitive verb describes the subject. So it is called a Subject Complement.
eg: 1) Peacock is beautiful
beautiful relates to peacock
2) She is an engineer
An engineer describes she
3) These rules and regulations are to go
To go relates to these rules and regulations
Beautiful, an engineer, and to go are subject complements
Intransitive verb is verb which does not takes an object.
When complement comes after a transitive verb, it is called an object complement.
eg: 1) Charlie found her weeping.
Found + whom? = her (object)
Weeping relates to her
2) The jury found him guilty
Found + whom? = him (object)
Guilty relates to him
3) The students elected him chairman
Elected + whom? = him (object)
Chairman relates to him
4) Humpty Dumpty made his shirt dirty
Made + what? = his shirt (object)
Dirty relates to his shirt
Weeping, guilty, chairman, and dirty are Objective Complements.
(according to meaning)
According to meaning there are four types of sentences.
An assertive sentence is a simple statement of fact.
An interrogative sentence asks a question.
Two types of questions:
Wh – question starts with a question word
Questions begin with auxiliary verbs are called Yes or No questions.
Sentence which expresses a command, a request or a wish is called and imperative sentence.
A sentence which expresses a sudden and strong feeling is an exclamatory sentence.
(according to structure)
This classification of sentences is based on their clause structure. We have four types of clause structures.
Please read the following sentences. Each of them carries a single verb. It is a single clause structure. Various methods are used to make a simple sentence.
A complex sentence contains one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses.
Eg: 1) When he saw me he asked why I was late
Here, we have three verbs. So we have three clauses.
Verb 1.Saw – its subject: he
Verb 2.Asked – its subject: he
Verb 3.Was – its subject: I
Clauses: 1)he saw [when he saw me]
Clause 1 – when he saw me (meaning incomplete – ഞാന് അദ്ദേഹത്തെ കണ്ടപ്പോള്…) subordinate clause
Clause 2 – he asked (meaning full and complete – main clause)
Clause 3 – why I was late (meaning is incomplete – ഞാന് എന്ത് കൊണ്ട് വൈകി എന്ന്…) subordinate clause
Eg: 2) I have seen the Ashram where Gandhijilived
Two verbs:have seen and lived
Two clauses: 1) I have seen the Ashramam (main clause)
Eg: 3) I had to stay at home because I was ill
Two verbs: had to stay and was
Two clauses: 1. I had to stay (main clause)
Compound sentence is a combination of two or more simple sentences. To combine simple sentences, coordinating conjunctions are used.
Eg: I He had plenty of money, but he refused to lend me a small sum.
Two verbs: had and refused
Two clauses: 1.He had plenty of money (main clause)
Eg: II I cannot hear you, for I am deaf
Two verbs: cannot hear and am
Two clauses: 1. I cannot hear you (main clause)
Eg: III Morgan goes to school, watches television and loves street cricket.
Three verbs: goes, watches, loves
Three clauses: 1. Morgan goes to school (main clause)
Eg: IV I have read this poem three times, but I have not understood it.
Two verbs: have read and have not understood
Two clauses: 1. I have read this poem (main clause)
A sentence containing two or more main clauses and one or more subordinate clauses is called a compound – complex sentence.
Eg: I The boy, whom I metat the circus, went to the manager and said that he wanted to become a circus artist.
Four verbs: met, went, said, and wanted
Four clauses: 1. The boy went to the manager (main clause)
Eg: II While Charlie threw down the hay, Monte milked the cow and Ralph cleaned the barn.
Three verbs: threw, milked, and cleaned
Three clauses: 1. While Charlie threw down the hay (subordinate clause)
Eg: III One day Bassaniocame to Antonio and told him that he wished to repair his fortune.
Three verbs: came, told, and wished
Three clauses: 1. One day Bassanio came to Antonio (main clause)
Subordinate clause is also called Dependent Clause as it depends on main clause. Main clause is also called Independent clause.
Subordinate clauses are three types:
Adverb clause does the work of an adverb. It modifies the verb in the main clause.
Eg: I Make hay while the sun shines
Two verbs: make and shines
Two clauses: 1. (You) make hay (main clause)
Here the subordinate clause modifies the verb make (hay). So it is an adverb clause.
Eg: II When we went there we found a strange thing.
Two verbs: went and found
Two clauses: 1. When we went there (subordinate clause) (ഞങ്ങള് അവിടെ പോയപ്പോള്…incomplete sense)
ഞങ്ങള് അവിടെ പോയപ്പോള്
Here, the subordinate clause modifies the verb found in the main clause. It is an adverb clause.
Eg: III when he saw me, he wept
Two verbs: saw and wept
Two clauses: 1. when he saw me (അവന് എന്നെ കണ്ടപ്പോള്…) (sense incomplete – subordinate clause)
അവന് എന്നെ കണ്ടപ്പോള് – he
The subordinate clause modifies the verb wept. It is an adverb clause.
An adjective clause qualifies a noun ……… in the main clause.
Eg: It usually answers the question.
Which one? (which boy?, which doctor?, which teacher? etc.)
An adjective clause is introduced by the words who, whose, whom, which and that.
Who is used for living beings and which for non-living beings and animals.That may be used for both.
Eg: I All that glitters is not gold
Two verbs: 1) glitters 2) is not
Two clauses: 1. all is not gold (main clause)
Eg: II this is the boy who won the prize
Two verbs: is and won
Two clauses: 1. This is the boy (main clause)
സമ്മാനം നേടിയ –this
Eg. III The car, which is very old, requires immediate repairs.
Two verbs: is and requires
Two clauses: 1. The car requires immediate repairs (main clause)
വളരെ പഴക്കമുള്ള – the Car
Noun clause comes as subject of a verb or an object or a complement or object of a preposition.
The subject of a verb
Eg: I That Sarithais dishonest is known to everybody.
Two verbs: is and is
Two clauses: 1. That Saritha is dishonest (സരിത സത്യസന്ധ അല്ലെന്നത്…) meaning not full – subordinate clause.
To find out the subject ask who or what to the verb.
So the main clause is:
(thatSaritha is dishionest) is known to everybody.
Eg: II What he had informed us is not true.
Two verbs: had informed and is not
Two clauses: 1. What he had informed us (meaning incomplete – subordinate clause)
Here, the subject is the first clause. So it is noun clause.
Object of a verb
Eg: I He asked me who my best friend was
Two verbs: asked and was
Two clauses: 1. He asked me (main clause)
To find out an object we ask four questions.
Asked me what? = who my best friend was
Whom? = nil
For whom? = nil
To whom? = nil
Here, Noun clause comes as object of the verb in the main clause.
Eg: II He expected that he would pass
Two verbs: expected and would pass
Two clauses: 1. He expected (main clause)
He expected + what? = answer to what is an object.
Here, the answer is “that he would pass”. It is a noun clause.
The complement of a verb
“The problem is how to conquer corona”.
It is a single clause sentence.
The problem + is (S + V) does not give us complete idea. To make it full we have to add “how to conquer corona”. It is a phrase. It is called a complement phrase. Instead, if there comes a clause, it is called a complement clause.
The problem is how corona can be conquered.
“how corona can be conquered” is a complement clause. It is a noun clause.
Object of a Preposition
Eg: I we had to manage with whatever he got.
Two verbs: had to manage and got
Two clauses: 1. We had to manage with (main clause)
With + what? = answer is an object.
Here, answer is whatever he got (object of the preposition with)
Eg: II Success depends on how hard you work
Two verbs: depends on and work
Two clauses: 1. Success depend on (main clause)
Depends on + what? = object
Here, “how hard you work” is the object of the preposition ‘on’