One-on-one online writing courses for kids in elementary, middle and high school. Building basic writing skills covering the mechanics of sentences and paragraphs.

Grammar Sentence Structure

Sentence structure refers to the proper way to put a sentence together. The most basic rule is that a sentence must have a subject and a predicate. The subject is the noun that does the action in the sentence. It is the who? or the what? To find the subject, ask yourself, "Who or what is doing something in this sentence?" The predicate is the verb or the action in the sentence. It is the what happened? To find the predicate, ask yourself, "What is happening or what happened in the sentence?" The subject usually comes before the predicate.

  • The young girl chose a new doll.
    • Simple subject: girl Complete subject: the young girl
    • Simple predicate: chose Complete predicate: chose a new doll

Sentence structure also involves things like clauses. A clause is made up of a subject and a predicate. So, what makes a clause different from a sentence? A sentence can contain more than one clause.

  • I got my books together, and I put them in my bag.
  • I wasn’t hungry, but I still wanted dessert.

An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence. The first part of the sentence above, I wasn’t hungry, could be its own sentence. A dependent clause needs to be connected to an independent clause in order to be complete. In the sentence above, but I still wanted dessert, needs the first part of the sentence to truly make a complete thought.

Time4Writing provides practice in this area. Try a sample resource from our Elementary Sentences course or browse other related courses.

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