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Encyclopedia > Sentence (linguistics)

In linguistics, a sentence is a unit of language, characterized in most languages by the presence of a finite verb. For example, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... For the journal, see Linguistics (journal). ... A finite verb is a verb that is inflected for person and for tense according to the rules and categories of the languages it occurs in. ... A quick brown fox illustrates the best-known English pangram by jumping over a lazy dog. ...

Contents

The parts of a sentence

A simple complete sentence consists of a subject and a predicate. The subject is typically a noun phrase, though other kinds of phrases (such as gerund phrases) work as well, and some languages allow subjects to be omitted. The predicate is a finite verb phrase: it's a finite verb together with zero or more objects, zero or more complements, and zero or more adverbials. See also copula for the consequences of this verb on the theory of sentence structure. According to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle, every sentence can be divided in two main constituents, one being the subject of the sentence and the other being its predicate. ... In traditional grammar, a predicate is one of the two main parts of a sentence (the other being the subject, which the predicate modifies). ... Look up noun phrase in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In linguistics, “gerund” is a term used to refer to various non-finite verb forms in various languages: As applied to English, it refers to what might be called a verbs action noun, which is one of the uses of the -ing form. ... In linguistics, a verb phrase or VP is a syntactic structure composed of the predicative elements of a sentence and functions in providing information about the subject of the sentence. ... An object in grammar is a sentence element and part of the sentence predicate. ... A complement is a phrase that fits a particular slot in the syntax requirements of a parent phrase. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Copula (disambiguation). ...


The clause

A clause consists of a subject and a verb. There are two types of clauses: independent and subordinate (dependent). An independent clause consists of a subject verb and also demonstrates a complete thought: for example, "I am sad." A subordinate clause consists of a subject and a verb, but demonstrates an incomplete thought: for example, "Because I had to move."


The classification of sentences

Classification by structure

One traditional scheme for classifying English sentences is by the number and types of finite clauses: The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A finite verb is a verb that is inflected for person and for tense according to the rules and categories of the languages it occurs in. ... In grammar, a clause is a word or group of words ordinarily consisting of a subject and a predicate, although in some languages and some types of clauses, the subject may not appear explicitly. ...

A simple sentence is a sentence structure that contains one independent clause and no dependent clauses. ... In grammar, an independent clause (or main clause) is a clause that can stand by itself as a grammatically viable simple sentence. ... A dependent clause (or subordinate clause) cannot stand alone as a sentence. ... In the English language, a compound sentence is composed of at least two independent clauses, but does not need a dependent clause. ... The term punctuation has two different linguistic meanings: in general, the act and the effect of punctuating, i. ... A complex sentence is a sentence with an independent clause and at least one dependent clause (subordinating clause). ... In syntax, a sentence with at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses is referred to as a complex-compound sentence. ...

Classification by purpose

Sentences can also be classified based on their purpose:

  • A declarative sentence or declaration, the most common type, commonly makes a statement: I am going home.
  • An interrogative sentence or question is commonly used to request information — When are you going to work? — but sometimes not; see rhetorical question.
  • An exclamatory sentence or exclamation is generally a more emphatic form of statement: What a wonderful day this is!
  • An imperative sentence or command is ordinarily used to make a demand or request: Go do your homework.

For other uses, see Question (disambiguation). ... A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for rhetorical effect rather than to receive an answer. ... Exclamation may refer to one of the following. ... Command has multiple meanings: An order. ...

Major and minor sentences

A major sentence is a regular sentence; it has a subject and a predicate. For example: I have a ball. In this sentence one can change the persons: We have a ball. However, a minor sentence is an irregular type of sentence. It does not contain a finite verb. For example, "Mary!" "Yes." "Coffee." etc. Other examples of minor sentences are headings (e.g. the heading of this entry), stereotyped expressions (Hello!), emotional expressions (Wow!), proverbs, etc. This can also include sentences which do not contain verbs (e.g. The more, the merrier.) in order to intensify the meaning around the nouns (normally found in poetry and catchphrases).[1] According to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle, every sentence can be divided in two main constituents, one being the subject of the sentence and the other being its predicate. ... In traditional grammar, a predicate is one of the two main parts of a sentence (the other being the subject, which the predicate modifies). ...


References

  1. ^ Exploring Language: Sentences

See also

An inflectional phrase is essentially the same as a sentence. ... Look up phrase in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In grammar, a clause is a word or group of words ordinarily consisting of a subject and a predicate, although in some languages and some types of clauses, the subject may not appear explicitly. ... A member (Grunt) of T-Unit. ...

 
 

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