Phrases and clauses and sentences oh my
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Phrases and Clauses and Sentences…Oh My!. Eng 050. Let’s go over the basics…again! . Now that we’ve gone over the parts of speech, it’s time to review phrases, clauses and sentences (Oh my!).

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Let s go over the basics again
Let’s go over the basics…again!

  • Now that we’ve gone over the parts of speech, it’s time to review phrases, clauses and sentences (Oh my!).

  • Why are we doing this again? Because going over writing well without going over the basics is like teaching you word problems before you learn addition and subtraction.


Phrases
Phrases

  • Phrases---this is a group of words that function together as a unit. They are not a sentence, however, because they are missing a subject or a verb (or in cases, both).

    • Examples of phrases: the crazy cat; a happy person; a delicious meal; cooking dinner; shopping at the mall; going to school; raindrops on roses; whiskers on kittens.

  • Essentially, a phrase is part of a sentence, but is never a complete sentence.


Clauses
Clauses

  • Clauses are similar to phrases in that they are a group of words, but unlike phrases, they always contain a subject and a verb.

  • There’s two essential kinds of clauses:

    • Independent clauses—An independent clause is a part of a sentence that could be a sentence (but, because there’s more in the sentence than just the independent clause, isn’t one). Examples:

      • We planned our vacation carefully

      • We studied for the test

      • I drove to the mall


Clauses1
Clauses

  • Dependent clauses—Dependent clauses are written in such a way that they cannot stand on their own as a sentence. Usually there’s a subordinate conjunction (remember those words that connect phrases or clauses together? Here is where they come into play).

    • Let’s consider the following three sentences:

      • “We planned our vacation very carefully.”

      • “Since we planned our vacation very carefully.”

      • “Since we planned our vacation very carefully, we had a great time.”


Clauses2
Clauses

  • Let’s consider the following three sentences:

    • “We planned our vacation very carefully.”

    • “Since we planned our vacation very carefully.”

    • “Since we planned our vacation very carefully, we had a great time.”

  • That first sentence is a complete thought. If left alone, it’s a complete sentence.

  • But when you add the word “since,” you are indicating to the reader that there’s more information to come in the sentence. The word “since” makes it a dependent clause.

  • The third sentence has both a dependent clause (“since we planned our vacation very carefully”), and an independent clause (“we had a great time”).


Sentences subjects and verbs
Sentences—Subjects and Verbs

  • Here is where we put all that we’ve learned about parts of speech, phrases, and clauses together.

  • We’ll start with subjects (using nouns and/or pronouns) and predicates (using verbs). Please note that your textbook does not use the phrase predicate, but predicate is common terminology. To make it easier, we’ll use the term verb (though the word predicate may come into play later).

  • When we went over verbs, we discussed how sentences cannot be sentences without verbs. We used the example of how “No” is, technically, a complete sentence. But is it a good sentence? No!


Subjects
Subjects

  • Subject---The subject of a sentence tells us who or what the sentence is about. Subjects can be singular (one person, place, thing, or idea to tell us what the sentence is about) or compound (two separate words joined together to tell us what the sentence is about).

    • Singular: Margaret went to the movies. Margaret is singular.

    • Compound: Margaret and I went to the movies (Margaret and I; “Margaret” and “I” are the subjects; “and” is the conjunction that joins the two subjects). “Margaret and I” all together form a phrase.

    • Unstated subjects: Sometimes a subject doesn’t exactly appear in the sentence, but is hinted at or understood. Let’s take the example of “Pass me a slice of pizza, please.” The “You” in that sentence is understood.


Verbs
Verbs

  • Verbs---We’ve already gone over verbs today, but to restate it, verbs are the action in the sentence, or the motor that makes a sentence run. Consider the following: “She and I to the mall.” Without a verb to explain the two phrases, this is not a sentence.

  • There’s several different kinds of verbs.

    • Action verbs—tells us what the subject is doing. For example, run, skate, discuss, hurt, allow, etc.

    • Linking verbs—connects the subject to other words, but don’t communicate an action. Rather, they communicate a state of being, or feeling. Examples: be (or versions of be such as am, are, is, was, were); become; feel; look; appear; seem.


Verbs1
Verbs

  • Linking verbs—connects the subject to other words, but don’t communicate an action. Rather, they communicate a state of being, or feeling. Examples: be (or versions of be such as am, are, is, was, were); become; feel; look; appear; seem.

    • To make things even more confusing (  ) some verbs can be action or linking, depending on how they are used.

      • I smell a skunk. Smell in this sentence is an action.

      • This rose smells so fragrant. Smells in this case is linking.


Verbs2
Verbs

  • Compound verbs---these are similar to compound nouns in that you can have more than one verb in a sentence to convey action or state of being.

    • She watches and feeds his dog on the weekend. “Watches” and “feeds” makes up the compound verb.

    • Compound verbs do not have to be next to each other to be a compound verb. Take this example: I visit my grandparents and play cards with them. “Visit” and “play” are both verbs in this sentence. Since the subject (“I”) does both actions in the sentence, this makes it a compound verb.


Verbs3
Verbs

  • Helping verbs---these add information to the action verb or linking, such as when an action took place.

    • Examples: be, am, is, are, was, were, have, has, had, do, did, may, might, can, could, will, would, should, used to, ought to.

    • These are NOT examples: not, never, always, only, just, and still are NOT part of the verb.

  • Complete verbs---Complete verbs are created when you use an action or linking verb and a helping verb together. Examples:

    • The Eagles are playing very badly this evening. “Are playing” is the complete verb; “Are” is the helping verb, and “playing” the action verb.


So what was all of this leading up to anyway
So what was all of this leading up to anyway?

  • You might be wondering by now why we’ve gone through all of these boring slides with all of this boring information, and how is this supposed to help you anyway? After all there’s no quiz on this. So what gives?

  • First reason: If I mark something on your paper as being incorrect, you should be able to understand the terms I’m using.

  • Second reason: The better you understand what a proper sentence consists of, the more likely you are construct a proper sentence.

  • Third reason: We need to learn to avoid writing sentence fragments. Sentence fragments are a very common writing error, but they are one of the biggest errors you can make. What are sentence fragments, you ask?


Sentence fragments
Sentence Fragments

  • A sentence fragment is what its name implies—the fragment of a sentence without all of the elements that would make it a sentence.

  • Fortunately, sentence fragments are usually very easy to fix.

  • Unfortunately, students often don’t recognize them as fragments as opposed to complete sentences.


Sentence fragments1
Sentence Fragments

  • We’ll go over several different kinds of sentence fragments so you can recognize them when you see them. Then we’ll over ways to fix them.

  • Afterthought fragments---This sentence fragment occurs when a writer tacks on information to a sentence without making it part of the main sentence. Examples:

    • I went to the mall. And went out to eat.

    • We drove to the shore. But got lost.

    • The Eagles played football. And won.


Sentence fragments2
Sentence Fragments

  • -Ing fragments---These fragments occur because words that end in –ing are not complete verbs unless they have a helping verb attached to it. Examples:

    • Thinking she’d fit into one day. Amber bought a dress that was too small.

    • They went to the bar. Hanging out.

    • Playing badly. The Eagles lost the game.

  • To fragments---This sentence fragment occurs when the word “to” is added in front of a verb. When you add the word “to,” a word becomes part of a prepositional phrases as opposed to a complete verb. Examples:

    • I went to the mall. To buy new shoes.

    • We drove to the shore. To visit the beach.

    • To learn a new song. The choir practiced for two extra hours.


Sentence fragments3
Sentence Fragments

  • Dependent-clause fragments---These occur when you write a dependent clause (who remembers what this is?), but do not connect it to an independent clause (a complete sentence). Examples:

    • So that she’d pass the math test. She studied very hard.

    • I won’t see my boyfriend for several months. Until Thanksgiving.

    • While I had the money. I refused to purchase the new shoes I wanted.


Sentence fragments4
Sentence Fragments

  • Relative-clause fragments---Remember, a relative-clause is a dependent clause that begins with a relative pronoun (who, whom, which, or that). So the same rules apply to these fragments as to the dependent-clause fragments. Examples:

    • I went to the mall. Which was closed.

    • We went out with Arlene. Who is my cousin.

    • That bottle. I would like to purchase it.


So how do i fix them
So how do I fix them?

  • Sentence fragments are relatively easy to fix. There’s two essential ways to do that---make the fragment a separate complete sentence, or add the proper punctuation

  • Let’s go over the first example of the “afterthought” fragment.

  • He works out at the gym. And runs several miles a week.

  • One way be would to add punctuation to the sentence.

    • “He works out at the gym and runs several miles a week.”

    • Here we removed the period and made the word “and” lower case.

  • Another way would be to make the fragment a complete sentence by adding a subject.

    • “He works out at the gym. He runs several miles a week.”


So how do i fix them1
So how do I fix them?

  • Now let’s go over the –ing fragment.

  • Finding no food in the refrigerator. LaKesha went to the store.

  • Let’s go over some possible ways to fix this.

    • “Finding no food in the refrigerator, LaKesha went to the store.”

    • LaKesha found no food in the refrigerator. She decided to go to the store.”

  • Note: the second way of fixing this sentence, making it into two sentences, is technically correct. However, it is a very choppy way of writing.


So how do i fix them2
So how do I fix them?

  • This is not discussed in Chapters 21 through 25 in your textbook, but another option to fixing a sentence fragment is by using a conjunctive adverb either at the beginning of the sentence or as a means to join the clauses together. This helps prevent the sentence from being too choppy.

  • WTH???

  • It’s not as awful as it sounds. These words are conjunctions (joiners) that, when placed in or at the beginning of a sentence, function as an adverb. They help your sentences to flow properly.


So how do i fix them3
So how do I fix them?

  • Examples of conjunctive adverbs include

    • after all, also, as a result, besides, consequently, finally, for example, furthermore, hence, however, in addition, in fact, in other words, incidentally, indeed, likewise, meanwhile, moreover, nevertheless, next, nonetheless, on the contrary, on the other hand, otherwise, still, then, therefore, thus.

  • So how do I use these? Here’s some examples

    • “I started to watch the Emmys; however, I ended up watching the football game.”

    • “The Phillies clinched the division! Still, they have to win the pennant before we get to the World Series.


Fused sentences and comma splices
Fused Sentences and Comma Splices

  • There’s more? We’re in the home stretch here, I promise!

  • Fused sentences are the opposite of sentence fragments. Essentially they are two separate sentences jammed into one sentence. Examples:

    • Jennifer was elected academic president I voted for her.

    • The beach is a great getaway we’re fortunate it’s only 2 hours away.


Fused sentences and comma splices1
Fused Sentences and Comma Splices

  • Related to the fused sentence, though not exactly the same, is the comma splice. While the fused sentence does not use any punctuation at all, the comma splice uses the comma incorrectly.

  • Let’s examine the previous two sentences:

    • Jennifer was elected academic president I voted for her.

    • The beach is a great getaway we’re fortunate it’s only 2 hours away.

  • Those sentences are examples of fuses sentences. But here’s what they look like as comma splices.

    • Jennifer was elected academic president, I voted for her.

    • The beach is a great getaway, we’re fortunate it’s only 2 hours away


So how do i fix these
So how do I fix these?

  • You fix these errors the same way you fixed sentence fragments

    • Adding correct punctuation

    • Making each clause two different sentences

    • Adding conjunctions as well as proper punctuation

  • Let’s fix some of our example sentences using the manners above.

    • Jennifer was elected academic president; I voted for her.

    • Jennifer was elected academic president. I voted for her.

    • Jennifer was elected academic president, and I voted for her.


So how do i fix these1
So how do I fix these?

  • The beach is a great getaway; we’re fortunate it’s only 2 hours away

  • The beach is a great getaway. We’re fortunate it’s only 2 hours away.

  • The beach is a great getaway, and we’re fortunate it’s only 2 hours away.


The end
The End!

  • Don’t remember all of this? Don’t panic! We’re going to over this again as we go through our grammar workbook.

  • Also, as I see issues arising in everyone’s writing, I’ll use exercises in class to help reinforce our knowledge.