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BBI2421 General Writing Skills. Week 2: Simple Sentence Subject-Verb Agreement Fragment. Phrase. A group of related words: without a subject and a verb. which makes sense but not complete sense. e.g.:

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bbi2421 general writing skills

BBI2421 General Writing Skills

Week 2:

Simple Sentence

Subject-Verb Agreement



A group of related words:

  • without a subject and a verb.
  • which makes sense but not complete sense.
  • e.g.:

1) The sun rises in the east.2) Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.3) She wore a hat with blue trimming.4) The accident on the bridge was not serious.5) The girl with red hair is an artist.

(Taken from


A group of related words:

  • containing a subject and a verb.
  • expresses complete/incomplete thought
  • e.g.:
    • Shesnores.  a sentence (independent)
    • When shesleeps not a sentence (dependent)

*You will learn more about clauses in Week 4!


A group of words that:

  • contains at least one subjectand one verb.

E.g.: Amnicries.

My car isblue in colour.

b) expresses a complete thought.

E.g.: Ammaris sending an email.

types of sentence
Types of Sentence
  • Simple Sentences
  • Compound Sentences
  • Complex Sentences
simple sentences
Simple Sentences
  • Independent clause
    • Expresses a complete thought
  • One subject-verb pair
    • Subject (S): (noun or pronoun)
    • Verb (V): action or condition (eg. Is, are, seem etc.)
  • Sentence formula:

1) SV

2) SSV

3) SVV


simple sentences 2
Simple Sentences (2)

1) SV

  • E.g.:
    • Ritabit into the hard doughnut.
    • The Star War movies were international hits.

2) SSV

  • E.g.:
    • Alif and Ammarplay football every afternoon.
    • Young people and adultsenjoyed the movie.
simple sentences 3
Simple Sentences (3)

3) SVV

  • E.g.:
    • Alyagoes to the library to study everyday.
    • The film entertained and thrilled audiences everywhere.


  • E.g.:
    • Jane and Jill finishedtheir homework andwentto the park.
    • Luke Skywalker and his friends battled evil and made us laugh at the same time.
simple sentences 4
Simple Sentences (4)


*Simple sentences can be very short


*Simple sentences can be very long

(The tall, good-looking boy with the curly blond hair laughed uproariously at his best friend’s suggestion.)

subject verb agreement sva
Subject-Verb Agreement (SVA)
  • A singular subject demands a singular verb

1. My sister is married.

2. Donald Trump has five children.

3. The sun rises in the east .

subject verb agreement sva 2
Subject-Verb Agreement (SVA-2)
  • A plural subject demands a plural verb

1. They have a lot in common.

2. Japan and Korea werehosts for 2002

FIFA World Cup.

3. Alya and Amni love baking.

some confusions in sva
Some Confusions in SVA

1) there+be verb (is/are/was/were)

 subject follows be verb


  • Thereisa student in the hall.
  • Therearethree students in the hall.
  • Therewasno reason for his action.
  • Thereweremany reasons for his success.
some confusions in sva 2
Some Confusions in SVA (2)

2) subject+ prepositional phrase (PP)* +


  • Ignore the noun/pronoun in the PP!


      • One (of my sisters) is a singer.
      • The colour(of her eyes) changes when she is angry.
      • Six kinds (of rice) are available in the grocery store.

*PP: begins with a preposition (of, with, in, at, on) and ends

with a noun or pronoun

some confusions in sva 3
Some Confusions in SVA (3)

3) Words that are always singular


  • One (of my brothers) is a musician.
  • Neither (of my parents) is living.
  • Much(of my time) is spent in the library.
  • Each (of my brothers) wants his own car.
  • Either (of my sisters) is able to baby-sit for you tonight.
  • Nothingever happens in my life.
  • Isanyone home?
some confusions in sva 4
Some Confusions in SVA (4)

4) Words that are always plural


  • Both (of my parents) are teachers.
  • Several (of the teachers) speak my language.
  • Many (of my friends) work in the library.
some confusions in sva 5
Some Confusions in SVA (5)

5) singular/plural words

refer to the noun in PP


  • Some (of the money) was missing. (singular)
  • Some (of the students) were missing. (plural)
  • All (of my time) is spent in the library. (singular)
  • All (of my brothers) are singers. (plural)
some confusions in sva 6
Some Confusions in SVA (6)
  • Most (of the ice) was melted. (singular)
  • Most (of the ice cubes) were melted. (plural)
  • A lot (of the work) was too easy. (singular)
  • A lot (of the people) were angry. (plural)
  • None (of the furniture) is new. (singular)
  • None (of the apples) are fresh. (plural)
fragment sentence error
Fragment (sentence error)
  • 1 subject+ 1 verb = sentence
    • E.g.:
      • Ammar is an architect. (subject: Ammar, verb: is)
  • 1 subject+ 0 verb = fragment
    • E.g.:
      • Maryam a teacher.
      • Correction: Maryam is a teacher.
  • 0subject + 1 verb = fragment
    • E.g.:
      • Is an architect
      • Correction: Ammar is an architect.
parallel structure parallelism sentence error
Parallel Structure/Parallelism (sentence error)

“Parallelism is a similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses”

(Taken from

parallel structure parallelism 2
Parallel Structure/Parallelism (2)
  • Parallelism of Words

The crowd clapped, cheered and cry while

watching the show.

(past tense, past tense, present tense)

Let’s compare!

The crowd clapped, cheered and cried while

watching the show.

(past tense, past tense, past tense)

parallel structure parallelism 21
Parallel Structure/Parallelism (2)

2) Parallelism of Phrases

Singing a song or poem writing is joyous.

(gerund-article-object of gerund, noun-gerund)

Let’s compare!

Singing a song or writing a poem is joyous.

(gerund-article-object of gerund, gerund-article-object of


parallel structure parallelism 3
Parallel Structure/Parallelism (3)

3) Parallelism of Clauses

Viva is inexpensive; Myvi is very spacious; and Preve is


(noun-verb-adjective, noun-verb-adverb-adjective, noun-


Let’s compare!

Viva is inexpensive; Myvi is spacious; and Preve is


(noun-verb-adjective, noun-verb-adjective, noun-