21 Jan

മത്സരത്തിലെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് -12

മത്സരത്തിലെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് -12

The sentence: some basics


ചൂര്യയി ചന്ദ്രന്‍ 

(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

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

The Predicate is what is said about

Subject Predicate

Barking dogs

A number of students

Birds of the same feather

Jack and Jill

The sun

loves dancing

seldom bite

scored high marks

flock together

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:

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

The Complement

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.


Subject 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.


Object Complement

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.


Sentences Classified

(according to meaning)

According to meaning there are four types of sentences.

  • Assertive 2) Interrogative 3) Imperative and 4) Exclamatory

  1. Assertive sentences (Declarative Sentences)

An assertive sentence is a simple statement of fact.

  • Butterflies are pretty things
  • Jawaharlal Nehru was our first Prime Minister
  • He wrote the “Discovery of India”
  • Asoka popularized Buddhism


  1. Interrogative sentence (Question)

An interrogative sentence asks a question.

Two types of questions:

  • Wh– questions

Wh – question starts with a question word

  • When does he come?
  • Why are you late?
  • Where did he go?
  • How old are you?
  • What is your father?


  • Yes or No question

Questions begin with auxiliary verbs are called Yes or No questions.

  • Did Babu play?
  • Does he write the essay?
  • Is she tired?
  • Have you seen him?
  • Are you ready?


  • Interrogative Sentences

Sentence which expresses a command, a request or a wish is called and imperative sentence.



  • Open your book
  • Stand up
  • Get in
  • Clean the black board


  • Please, sit down
  • Please, open the door
  • Would you pack these books?
  • Lend me your pen please
  • Help me, please
  • Let the command be given


  • May god bless you!
  • God save the king!
  • May you be happy for ever!


  1. Exclamatory Sentences

A sentence which expresses a sudden and strong feeling is an exclamatory sentence.

  • How happy we are here!
  • What a wonderful sight!
  • How warm the weather is!
  • How grand the party is!

Sentences Classified

(according to structure)

This classification of sentences is based on their clause structure. We have four types of clause structures.

  • Simple sentence (having one Main Clause)
  • Complexsentence (1 M.C + 1 or more Subordinate Clauses)
  • Compound sentence (2 or more M.Cs)
  • Compound – Complex sentence (2 or more M.Cs + 1 or more S.Cs)


  • A clause is part of a sentence. It has its own subject and a verb.
  • A simple sentence is a simple clause sentence.
  • A clause is different from a phrase
  • A phrase does not contain a verb
  • A phrase does not make complete sentence
  • If a clause gives a perfect idea, it is a Main Clause
  • If a clause does not give a perfect idea, it is a Subordinate Clause
  • A compound sentence contains only Main Clauses
  • Subordinate clauses are of three types:
  • Adjective Clause 2) Adverb clause and 3) Noun clause
  • Adjective clause does the work of an adjective. ie: qualifies a noun in the main clause.
  • Adverb clause does the work of an adverb. ie: modifies the verb in the main clause.
  • Noun clause does the work of a noun. ie: noun clause comes as the subject or object or complement of the verb in the main clause.

  1. Simple Sentence

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.

  • He is too poor to build a house
  • He is too tired to walk
  • He is too proud to beg pardon
  • I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him
  • Switching off the light, she went to sleep
  • Being a man of practical wisdom, Gandhijisucceeded as a leader
  • Hearing the news, I rushed to the spot
  • It being Sunday, the shops were closed
  • Having heard the news, I rushed to the spot
  • In spite of getting very little time to practice, they won the trophy
  • In spite of having a poor health, she is always cheerful
  • In spite of bad weather, they succeeded in reaching the top
  • In spite of being rich, he is unhappy
  • Besides being foolish, she is lazy
  • Besides paying his school fee, she got the poor child new books also
  • Besides being a political leader, Gandhijiwas an ascetic
  • But for your help, I could not have completed my job
  • Butterflies are pretty things
  • When does he come?
  • Did Babu play?
  • Open your book
  • Please sit down
  • May God bless you!
  • What a wonderful sight!
  • How warm the weather is!


  • A simple sentence may be a statement, a question, a command, or an exclamation
  • A simple sentence contains a main clause only
  • To make a complex sentence or a compound sentence, we have to add a new verb and its subject to the simple sentence


  1. Complex 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]

  • He asked [he asked]
  • I was [why I was late]

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)

  • Where Gandhiji lived (ഗാന്ധിജി ജീവിച്ച…) (meaning is incomplete – subordinate 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)

  1. Because I was ill (എനിക്ക് സുഖമില്ലാത്തതിനാല്‍) (meaning incomplete – subordinate clause)


  1. Compound Sentence

Compound sentence is a combination of two or more simple sentences. To combine simple sentences, coordinating conjunctions are used.

Helpful Conjunctions:

  1. Cumulative: and, both…and, not only….but also and as well as
  2. Adversative: but, yet, nevertheless, however and whereas
  3. Alternative: or, either…or, neither….nor, otherwise and else
  4. Illative: so, therefore and for

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)

  1. but he refused to lend me a small sum (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)

  1. for I am deaf (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)

  1. (He) watches television (main clause)
  2. (He) loves street cricket (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)

  1. but I have not understood it (main clause)
  2. Compound – Complex Sentence

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)

  1. Whom I met at the circus (ഞാന്‍ സര്‍ക്കസില്‍ വെച്ച് കണ്ടുമുട്ടിയ…) idea incomplete (subordinate clause)
  2. The boy said (main clause)
  3. That he wanted to become a circus artist (subordinate 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)

  1. Monte milked the cow (main clause)
  2. Ralph cleaned the barn (main 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)

  1. and (he) told him (main clause)
  2. that he wished to repair his fortune (subordinate clause)

Subordinate 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
  • Adjective clause
  • Noun clause

Adverb clause

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)

  1. While the sun shines (വെയിലുള്ളപ്പോള്‍) (sense incomplete – subordinate 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)

  1. we found a strange thing (main clause)

ഞങ്ങള്‍ അവിടെ പോയപ്പോള്‍




Strange thing

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)

  1. he wept (sense complete – main clause)

അവന്‍ എന്നെ കണ്ടപ്പോള്‍ – he

  • Wept

The subordinate clause modifies the verb wept. It is an adverb clause.


Adjective 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)

  1. That glitters (മിന്നുന്ന….) (sense is incomplete – modifies the pronoun All)

Eg: II   this is the boy who won the prize

Two verbs: is and won

Two clauses: 1. This is the boy (main clause)

  1. who won the prize (സമ്മാനം നേടിയ….) meaning is incomplete. It modifies the noun boy.

സമ്മാനം നേടിയ –this


The boy

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)

  1. which is very old (വളരെ പഴക്കമുള്ള…) meaning not complete. It modifies the noun car.

വളരെ പഴക്കമുള്ള – the Car


Immediate repairs

Noun clause

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.

  1. S + known to everybody (main clause).

To find out the subject ask who or what to the verb.

  • Who is known to everybody? = no answer
  • What is known to everybody? = That Saritha is known to everybody (subject clause).

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)

  1. S + not true (main 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)

  1. who my best friend was (sense not comlete. എന്‍റെ നല്ല ചങ്ങാതി ആരായിരുന്നുവെന്ന്…)

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)

  1. that he would pass (അവന്‍ പാസ്സാകുമെന്ന്) (meaning not complete – subordinate 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)

  1. Whatever he got (കിട്ടുന്നത് കൊണ്ട്… meaning incomplete – subordinate 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)

  1. how hard you work (subordinate clause)

Depends on + what? = object

Here, “how hard you work” is the object of the preposition ‘on’

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