For example: Don't shun the simple sentence—it's no simpleton.The simple sentence served Ernest Hemingway well; with its help, macho man Ernie snagged a Nobel Prize in Literature.(Grammatically incorrect)"These sentences show us that whatever principle gives us the order of words, it must be based on the class of word, not on a specific word. We could formulate a generalization, which holds true for the sentences in (1)-(6):(7) An adjective cannot immediately follow a noun."A generalization [as with sentence 7] is an attempt to explain the principles by which a sentence is put together. The generalization in (7) makes a prediction which turns out to be wrong when we look at sentence (8).(8) I painted the house white.
When syntacticians draw structure on sentences they are adopting a convenient and appropriate shorthand for these processes.
A linguist's account of the structure of a sentence is an abstract summary of a series of overlapping snapshots of what is common to the processes of producing and interpreting the sentence."—James R.
At your own pace, you can navigate through the course one module at a time or you can choose to focus on a single topic using the hyperlinks.
All site modules include examples and most have question-and-answer review pages to help you understand and assimilate the subject matter provides definitions and explanations to just about every grammatical concept that English as a Second Language learners will need to know.
Hurford"Linguists investigate sentence structure by inventing sentences, making small changes to them, and watching what happens.
This means that the study of language belongs to the scientific tradition of using experiments to understand some part of our world. One possibility is that it relates to the words themselves; perhaps the word must always come in this order.The subject is a word or a group of words that functions as a noun; the predicate is at least a verb and possibly includes objects and modifiers of the verb."—Lara Robbins "People are probably not as aware of sentence structure as they are of sounds and words, because sentence structure is abstract in a way that sounds and words are not . This communicative principle may be put to good use in the analysis of sentence structure by taking the boundary between old and new information as a clue to identifying a syntactic boundary.In fact, a typical SVO sentence such as can be broken down into the subject, which codes the given information, and the remainder of the sentence, which provides the new information.The old-new distinction thus serves to identify the VP [verb phrase] constituent in SVO sentences."—Thomas Berg"The grammatical structure of a sentence is a route followed with a purpose, a phonetic goal for a speaker, and a semantic goal for a hearer.Humans have a unique capacity to go very rapidly through the complex hierarchically organized processes involved in speech production and perception.To learn a language, we must also learn its principles of sentence structure, and a linguist who is studying a language will generally be more interested in the structural principles than in the vocabulary per se."—Margaret J. We can appreciate the importance of sentence structure by looking at examples within a single language. Although both sentences contain exactly the same words, the words are structurally related to each other differently; it is those differences in structure that account for the difference in meaning."—Eva M.Speas"Sentence structure may ultimately be composed of many parts, but remember that the foundation of each sentence is the subject and the predicate. At the same time, sentence structure is a central aspect of every sentence . Fernández and Helen Smith Cairns"It has been known since the Prague School of Linguistics that sentences can be divided into a part that anchors them in the preceding discourse ('old information') and a part that conveys new information to the listener.In the following excerpt from The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway uses the simple sentence to convey powerful emotions: You might also add a conjunctive adverb to this construction, as in this example: The largest mammals are found in the sea; after all, there's nowhere else to put them.A complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.The subordinating conjunctions are until, while, and even though.A compound-complex sentence has at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.