CONSTRUCTING SENTENCES:

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In formal academic writing sentences have to be complete and correct.  What is a sentence? Are your sentences always complete and correct?  If not, read on.

A sentence contains a subject and a verb. It may also have an object and adjectives and adverbs, e.g. the fundamental purpose of language is to make sense.


There are three types of sentences:

  • simple: one subject and one verb, e.g. children like fruit
  • compound: two equal clauses, e.g. children like fruit and it is good for them
  • complex: with one or more subordinate clauses, e.g. children like fruit because it is good for them

A sentence consists of one or more clauses.

A clause is a group of words containing:

  • subject + verb

An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence, e.g.

  • children like fruit.

    subject    +   verb

A dependent clause cannot stand alone as a sentence e.g. because it is good for them = this is a fragment.


Problems with sentences

What can go wrong?  The following tasks highlight some typical problems.

Sentence fragments are incomplete sentences or parts of sentences.  Remember that a complete sentence must contain at least one main or independent clause.

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