- a grammatical unit, involving
- a subject and a verb or
- a subject, verb, and object
- the basic building blocks of thought, the ways we encode and decode information
- a signal, a sign, of education, literacy, professionalism, work ethic.
Why Do Sentences Matter?
When you aim to communicate with someone other than yourself in semi-formal and formal circumstances, you are expected use complete sentences.
Sentences are started with a capital letter and then ended with end-mark punctuation–i.e., a period, exclamation, or question mark.
The sentence, aka independent clause, has two required and one optional parts:
Sentences conform to five different patterns:
Sentences can be structured in four ways:
|1. Simple Sentence Structure||one independent clause (IC).|
|2. Compound Sentence Structure||two independent clauses (IC IC) connected by a coordinating conjunction.|
|3. Complex Sentence Structure||one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses (IC DC) or (IC DC DC).|
|4. Compound-Complex Sentence Structure||two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses (IC IC DC) or (IC DC IC) or (DC IC IC) etc.|
Sentences in Standard English are defined by aim (aka function):
|Imperative||make requests, give orders|
|Exclamatory||give emphasis and an excited tone!|
Sentence Word Length
Sentences can range in word length. Generally speaking, the longer a sentence, the harder it is to interpret. At a minimum, a sentence is a single word with a subject implied. Two-word sentences are commonplace.