Types of Sentences, Clauses and Phrases - Paper Example

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1.) Clauses

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According to Biber, Douglas in Longman Student Grammer Spoken and Written English, a clause is defined as a group of related words which form a sentence. There are various types of clauses; however, this paper is going to examine three main types, adverbial, adjectival, and noun clauses.

i.) Noun clause

A noun clause is considered to be a dependent clause that represents a noun in a given sentence (Abney 5). Just like the noun, it serves the purpose of a subject, complement, and object in a sentence. Noun clause in most cases begins with a relative pronoun; however, in other cases, it may begin with even a subordinate conjunction (Abney 6). However, some of the general rules or functions of a noun clause in a sentence include:

a.) A noun clause can serve as a subject of the sentence; for instance, a sentence like this, What Jane did was very hurtful. From the sentence, the subject is what explains the action. In this case, it is What Jane did.

b.) A noun clause may serve as an object of the verb in the sentence. For instance, I did not know that the door was open. In the above sentence, the object of the verb is the door was open. In this case, the object of the verb answers the question what did I not know? The answer is the object of the verb provided above.

c.) A noun clause may serve as the object of the preposition in the sentence. For instance, Mar is the owner of the blue car. In this sentence, the object of the preposition will try to answer the question what is Mary the owner of? The answer to the question is what serves as the object of the preposition of the sentence which is the blue car.

d.) Lastly, a noun clause may serve as an adjective complement in a sentence. In this case, the compliment modifies the adjective of the sentence. For instance, Mary is disappointed that she had to go to school without taking breakfast. The adjective complement in the sentence will try to answer the question why is Mary disappointed? The answer to the question which also serves as the adjective complement is that she had to go to school without taking breakfast.

ii.) Adverb Clause

An adverb clause in a sentence plays the role of an adverb (Geis 2). It answers the questions of when, why, how, how much in a sentence. Further, an adverb clause is used to modify the adjectives, verbs, and adverbs as well. However, by definition, one can understand an adverb clause as a group of words that function as an adverb in a sentence. As Geis states in Adverbial Subordinate clauses in English, it is easy to identify an adverb clause in a sentence since it starts with a subordinate conjunction such as after, because, although, and if. The general rules for constructing an adverb clause include:

a.) An adverb clause contains a subject and a verb. For instance, Mary cleaned the microwave because the blueberry pie exploded, causing a great mess. The subject is Mary and the verb is cleaned.

b.) An adverb clause also contains a subordinating conjunction. For instance, the above sentence has a subordinate conjunction, because.

c.) An adverb clause answers the questions how, when, where, and why in a sentence (Geis 8). For instance, the above sentence in (a) answers the question why? The question that may arise from such a sentence is, why did Mary clean the microwave? The answer to that question which also serves as the adverb clause is because the blueberry pie exploded.

iii.) Adjective Clause

An adjective clause may be defined as a group of words or clauses that function as an adjective in a sentence (Quirk 13). Some of the key rules used in identifying and constructing an adjective clause include:

a.) An adjective clause begins with a relative pronoun such as whom, who, where, which, and then. For instance, in the sentence, I bought a meal for the boy who lives next door. In the sentence, an adjective clause is who lives the next door.

b.) An adjective clause modifies the noun or pronoun that they refer to in the sentence. For instance, from the sentence above, the adjective clause modifies the noun, the boy that is talked about.

c.) According to Pareles in Word Smart: Building an Educated Vocabulary, it is not all the sentences that contain the relative pronoun that is identified as adjective clauses; the exception is in a situation where the relative pronoun stands for the subject is not considered to be an adjective clause. For instance, in the sentence, who is the owner of the car? In this sentence, the relative pronoun who serves as the subject and not an adjective clause. However, in the following sentence, Mary, who faints easily, saw the snake and screamed, the adjective clause is who faints easily which starts with a relative pronoun because there is a subject Mary.

2.) Phrases

A phrase is considered to be a group or groups of words within a sentence that are related and complements the whole structure of the sentence (Huddleston & Geoffrey 3). Unlike the clauses, phrases do not have the subject and object. Therefore as Robinson, Adam notes in Word Smart II: How to Build a More Educated Vocabulary, a phrase is considered to be dependent because it cannot stand alone and provide a complete thought or meaning. There are various types or categories of phrases, however; in this case, we are going to examine few such as participle, gerund, infinitive, prepositional, and appositive phrases.

i.) Participle phrase

A participle phrase is a group of words in a sentence that includes present or past participle verb aspects, modifies, and other linked verbs. Some of the rules or principles for identifying the participle phrases include:

a.) In most cases, participle phrases act as an adjective in the sentence; modifying the noun or subject. For instance, the clothes made of cotton, looks very fancy.

b.) All participle phrases must be punctuated with a comma or commas. For instance, the children, raising their hands, require more books.

ii.) Gerund phrase

A gerund phrase is considered to be a group of words including modifiers, the verb and ing aspect, and other related words joined together to form a sentence (Huddleston & Geoffrey 14). The key principle or rule for identifying a gerund is that it serves as a noun in the sentence. As a noun, it can be an object or a subject; depending on it is used. For instance, I enjoy reading novels. The gerund phrase is enjoying reading novels.

iii.) Infinitive phrase

An infinitive phrase is considered to be a group of words that contain an infinitive, modifies, and other related words (Rodby & Ross 47). According to Quirk, Randolph in A comprehensive grammar of the English language, an infinitive that is part of the infinitive phrase contains two main elements; for instance, to and the base form of the verb. Among the rules include an infinitive functions as a noun, adjective, and adverb in the sentence. For instance, To pass the exam is the greatest ambition of every student in school. The infinitive phrase is to pass exam which serves as the noun in the sentence.

iv.) Prepositional phrase

A prepositional phrase is defined as a group of words that contain a preposition and the object of the preposition. The key rule or principle for identifying a prepositional phrase is that it must have a preposition and noun or pronoun that is called the object of the preposition (Pareles 139). Again, a prepositional phrase may also contain other modifiers which are related in the sentence. For instance, The teacher looked at his wrist watch. The prepositional phrase in the above sentence is at his wrist watch.

v.) Appositive phrase

An appositive phrase is defined as a word that is used to rename another noun in a sentence to avoid repetition of the same. The main principle for identifying an appositive phrase in a sentence is that it does not function as a technical modifier like the noun phrase, but as a word that renames the noun. Another rule or principle is that appositive phrase is always next to the noun. For instance, My brother, James, wants to be a doctor. In the sentence, My brother and James are words used to refer to the same person. The appositive phrase is James which is said to be in apposition to the word brother.

Types of Sentences

Sentences are classified into various categories; however, in this section, we are going to examine the types of sentences based on the causes used to create the sentences. In this criterion, sentences are divided into four main categories; for instance, simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences (Lingard 1).

1.) Simple sentence

A simple sentence is said to have one independent clause and no subordinate clauses. A simple sentence is also said to contain one predicate and one subject (Pareles 193). For instance, The Scarecrow is in the garden. This sentence has one subject (the scarecrow) and one predicate (is in the garden).

2.) Compound sentence

A compound sentence is said to contain two or more main or independent clauses (Parales 194). However, just like the simple sentence, a compound sentence does not contain a subordinate clause. The two independent clauses are linked or joined together using a coordinating conjunction or in some instances using a semicolon. The coordinating conjunctions include for, and, nor, but, so, yet, and or. A sentential example includes James finished reading the book, and he returned it to the library. The above sentence is made up of two independent clauses; James finished reading the book and he returned it to the library. The two sentences are joined together using a coordinating conjunction and to form a compound sentence.

3.) Complex sentence

A complex sentence contains an independent clause and one subordinate clause (Lingard 2). Unlike the other two types of sentences examined previously, a complex sentence has a subordinate clause. The difference between the complex and compound sentences is that, in a complex sentence, the two clauses joined to form it are not of equal importance as it is in the case of compound sentences. A sentential example of a complex sentence includes When the president spoke, the ministers were silent. The sentence above is made up of two clauses which are not of the same level or equal importance. When the president spoke, is a subordinating clause because of it, starts with a subordinating conjunction when and the ministers were silent is a dependent or main clause.

4.) Compound-complex sentence

Compound-complex sentence is basically the two types of sentences combined; the complex and compound sentences (Roberts 11). However, by definition, the compound-complex sentence is one that consists of at least two independent or main clauses and at least one subordinate or depend on clause. A sentential example includes the exam was difficult; however, the children will pass because they worked hard. The above sentence has two independent clauses the exam was difficult and the children will pass, and one subordinate clause because they worked hard.

Rhetorical devices

According to Blount, Alma in Intensive studies in American Literature, rhetorical devices are words that are used in various ways to convey meaning or persuade the listener. Some rhetorical devices are used to evoke the readers emotions. There are various types of rhetorical devices; however, in this case, we are going to examine a few including antithesis, chiasmus, parallelism, periodicity, euphemism, doublespeak, and redundancies.

i.) Antithesis

Antithesis is defined as the figure of speech in which emphasis is placed on the opposition of ideas through balancing words, phrases, or sentences in a way that prod...

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