A grammatically complete sentence has a subject and a conjugated verb, as in Mary sang. A sentence is also an independent clause. If a group of words qualifies only as a dependent clause, it is not a sentence, as in Because we were tired. Many writers use incomplete sentences in their writing. These are technically known as sentence fragments. They might also be called typographical sentences, a group of words beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period. If you use typographical sentences in your style, make certain it is immediately evident that you know what you're doing and that you're not making a mistake. And point out to your supervisor that great writers often use these structures. So there.
The four kinds of verbs enable us to write four basic types of complete sentences:
Four Possible Sentence Types
|1A||Subject (Actor) John||+||Transitive Verb in the active voice hit||+||Direct Object (Recipient) the ball.|
|1B||Subject (Recipient) The ball||+||Transitive Verb in the passive voice was hit||+||Actor Phrase (Actor) by John.|
|2||Subject John||+||Intransitive Verb ran||+||Phrase to first base.|
|3||Subject John||+||Verb to be is||+||Predicate Noun the batter.|
|John||is||+||Predicate Adjective strong.|
|John||is||+||Phrase at the plate.|
|4||Subject John||+||Linking Verb seems||+||Predicate Noun the team leader.|
|John||appears||+||Predicate Adjective quick.|
|John||sounds||+||Phrase out of sorts.|
That's it, folks. Every English sentence falls into one of these categories, which vary with the type of verb chosen.
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