If someone asked you to define a sentence, do you think you could? You might be tempted to say, “No way!” I bet you do know a sentence when you see it. Prove me right; pick out the sentence from these four groups of words:
- Throughout people's ears grow entire their lives.
- Grow throughout people's entire ears lives their.
- Entire throughout lives ears grow people's their.
- People's ears grow throughout their entire lives.
Each of the four groups contains exactly the same words, but only one is a sentence: the last one. You were able to pick out the sentence so easily because you have an innate knowledge of how English works—knowledge you have absorbed from reading, speaking, listening, and watching.
You Could Look It Up
A sentence is a group of words that express a complete thought.
But perhaps you need a little more work on sentences. Maybe you're not sure about the different kinds of sentences and how they're used. That's what you'll learn here. First, you learn about the two main parts of the sentence: the subject and the predicate. Then I teach you the four different types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Next come the four different sentence functions. Along the way, you learn how to fix the two most common sentence errors: fragments and run-ons.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.