02.05 Sentence Structure

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Included In This Lesson



  1. The Main Parts of a Sentence
    1. Subject- typically a noun that is what/who the sentence is about
    2. Verb-a word that tells an action or a state
    3. Object-that which is being acted upon by the subject
    4. Predicate-the part of the sentence containing the verb and stating something about the subject.
    5. Clause-A goup of words that contains the subject and the verb
  2. Main Things to Avoid When writing:
    1. Dangling Participles- often a phrase at the beginning of a sentence that does not modify a noun or pronoun in the sentence.
    2. Run-on sentences- when two or more independent clauses are connected improperly.
    3. Sentence fragments- groups of words that look like sentences but are not.
    4. Double negatives- two negative words used in the same sentence and turns the thought into a positive.


Welcome to this lesson today on sentence structure. So in language arts, we learn the parts of a sentence and by learning how to dissect a sentence we can also learn to construct good sentences and become good or at least proficient writers of the English language. So listed here are 5 main parts of a sentence, the subject, a verb, an object, a predicate, and a clause. The first three listed here are the most common and the last two are probably not familiar.

A sentence subject is usually a noun or a pronoun and it is what that sentence is about. So you see highlighted three subjects for each of the three sentences. And the action or the state of each of those subjects is being described by the use of a verb. So the Tallahassee IS, a family WANTS, and the pilot FLEW are all describing what something is (state) or an action.

The object of a sentence is that which is being acted upon… so the state of being of Tallahassee is referring to an object… which in this case is the capital? The family wants……. trip. The pilot flew ….. us. Predicates are phrases that contain the verb and its object. IS the capital, wants to plan a trip, flew across the country.

A clause is the part of the sentence that connects the verb to the subject. Tallahassee is, My family wants, The pilot flew.

I like to think of predicates and clauses as being chunks of the sentence and subjects, verbs and objects as being more the individual parts.

When writing you are going to try and avoid or at least look the use of dangling participles. These phrases tend to not modify the noun or pronoun. The example seen here is “ Cruising down the inside passage, the glacier was magnificent”. (The glacier is not the thing cruising). Also, you want to be aware of using run-on sentences. This has less to do with the length of the sentence and more about whether independent clauses in a sentence are properly connected. So the example here is “ I woke up I started making the coffee.  There are no conjunctions… a simple and between the two clauses would fix this.   Fragmented sentences are groups of words that look like sentences but really aren’t. So for example “Since you do have enough money.”  This is missing an independent clause (a subject and verb).  And lastly, watch for the use of double negatives that cancel each other out and make a sentence a positive. “They were distracted by the sound and didn’t see nothing actually means they saw it!!

So to review, The main parts of a healthy sentence include a subject, verb, object, predicate, and clause. Writer beware includes dangling participles, avoiding run-on sentences or fragmented sentences and check for accidental use of double-negatives which cancel one another out and turn your statement into a positive.

Thank you for watching this lesson on sentence structure. Now go out and be your best self today and happy nursing.