August 12, 2020

Stop! Grammar time.

Grammar and usage. (2011). Irvine: Saddleback Educational Publishing, 8. Retrieved from

This resource can be found here. It is part of our online nonfiction collection of items that you have free access to with a library card. All you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of this page, and log in.

Remember that sentence work we started here? Well, we are going to break it down even more. A sentence is a full thought that contains the 'who' and 'what they did'. Sentences do this by dividing into a subject and a predicate.

Let’s start with subject. The subject in a sentence is a noun that names a person, place or thing. A noun can be a name like Bob; a word that defines an animal or object like cat, dingo or chair; a place like Blue Mountains, Hollywood or forest; a feeling like fear, happiness or anger; a quality like laughter, plumpness or strength; or even something more abstract like biology, holiday or friendship (abstract because these aren’t tangible [able to touch and see them] nouns).

That is so many different types and examples!

It can be very confusing understanding even that little list; so we will go into more detail of nouns in another post; but for now, this list is a good example for working through sentences.

The predicate in a sentence tells a reader what the subject (noun) does or is. This means a predicate is a verb. Before I give you examples of predicates: there are two kinds. There are the action verbs (also known as doing words) that show action; and there are linking verbs that show “what is or seems to be”. When thinking about these two types of verbs; action verbs are much more recognisable: running, flew, ducked, steaming. Linking verbs are harder to spot: is, are, seems, appears, was, must, should.

So, let’s have a look at some examples and hopefully clear this up even more.

The boy jumped.

Boy is the subject because it relates to a person and jumped is the verb because the person is doing something; e.g. jumping.

The cat sat on the mat.

This is a sentence everyone hears about. In this short sentence the subject, or noun, is cat. Sat is the verb because the cat has done something; it has performed an action. Mat is also a noun, but because it follows the verb (remember verbs are doing words) and so is receiving action, not doing or completing an action, it becomes an object within the sentence.

The chair is in the kitchen.

In this short sentence the subject, or noun, is chair. Is, is the linking verb because it does not show an action; instead it links the subject with the object, which is kitchen.

And so that is sentences; at least short ones. Easy? We use them everyday; but maybe breaking it down shows how complex they can be so we can build on them and create new ones.

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