ENGLISHMain English Grammar

Parts of a Sentence

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Parts of a Sentence

To do questions on Error Finding, Fill In The Blanks, Sentence Improvement, Idioms/Phrases, Sentence Arrangement, Cloze Tests, Comprehension Passages, etc. good understanding of written sentences is very essential, without that we cannot be at comfort at all in doing those questions, and will often be doing them just by cramming, one’s intuitions, etc. Certainly that cannot ever give us good marks. So it becomes very necessary to comprehend this chapter with complete sincerity. Surely you’ll find yourself at a lot comfortable after.

Now see these sentences:

a) Rahul plays cricket daily.
b) My mother goes for a walk in the evening.
c) The park of our colony is beside our water tank.
d) Mohit and Sohan are good friends.
e) They are players.

If we see them carefully, we find that we are talking about RAHUL in the first sentence, and saying that he PLAYS CRICKET DAILY. In the second sentences we are talking about MY MOTHER, and saying that she GOES FOR A WALK IN THE EVENING. In the third we are talking about THE PARK OF OUR COLONY, and saying that it IS BESIDE OUR WATER TANK. In the fourth we are talking about MOHIT AND SOHAN, and saying that they ARE GOOD FRIENDS. And in the last sentence we are talking about THEY, and saying that they ARE PLAYERS.

We notice above that in every sentence we have following two parts:

1. The person or thing that we talk about (वह व्यक्ति या वस्तु जिसके बारे में हम कुछ कहते है)
2. Say something about that person or thing (वह बात जो हम उपरोक्त व्यक्ति या वस्तु के बारे में कहते है)

The first part is called the SUBJECT of the sentence and the second part the PREDICATE. If either of these parts is missing in a group of words it can’t be called to be a sentence.

We also see that sometimes the subject has only one word and sometimes more than one. When there is only one word in the subject, it itself is the main word of the subject, when there are more words in the subject, there is always at least one main word of the subject. That main word, in fact, is the real subject of the sentence.

Now we’ll find those main words of the subject in the above. Here is the list of those words:

Rahul, mother, park, Mohit, Sohan, they

Do you see any common characteristic in the above words? Of course yes. They all are naming words, means names of a person or a thing. Such words are called nouns/pronouns. Rahul, mother, park, Mohit and Sohan are nouns, and the word THEY is a pronoun. A pronoun is the word used in place of a noun. Naming words are categorized in the following two ways:

1. Names of a person or thing i.e. a noun
2. Words like HE, THEY, YOU that are used in place of nouns, are called pronouns.

Thus, now we can conclude that the main word of the subject is always a naming word i.e. NOUN or PRONOUN, nothing else.

Now we come at the main word of the PREDICATE. In the first sentence, you see, we are talking about the action of the subject RAHUL, which is ‘PLAYS’. In the second the action of the subject MY MOTHER, which is ‘GOES’. In the third the state of being of the subject THE PARK OF OUR COLONY, which is ‘IS’. In the forth the state of being of the subject MOHIT AND SOHAN, which is ‘ARE’ and in the fifth sentence we are talking about the state of being of the subject THEY, which is ‘ARE’.

So the main words of these predicates are PLAYS, GOES, IS, ARE

These words are called VERBS. Here we see that PLAYS and GOES are actions, whereas IS and ARE are state of being. STATE OF BEING = to exist (किसी व्यक्ति या वस्तु के कुछ होने कि अवस्था). Hence we can categorise verbs in two ways namely ACTION VERBS and STATE OF BEING VERBS. We name a verb by its first form, let’s have a look on the three forms of these verbs.

I II III
Go Went Gone
Play Played Played

Be

(is/am/are)

Was

(was/were)

Been

As we name a verb by its first form, we will call PLAYS as PLAY, GOES as GO, IS/ARE as BE.

In the beginning of this chapter we gave stress on GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF A SENTENCE. So our task does not end here as by now we have just known the parts of a sentence. This only cannot give anything, important is how these parts are known. For this, firstly, we find the VERB, not the SUBJECT.

We know that the main part of a subject is always a name of a person or a thing. And we also know that the question word for a person is WHO, and the question word for a thing is WHAT/WHICH. Now the things become easy. Just put WHO or WHAT/WHICH before a word, if we get an answer to the question thus formed, that word only is the verb and the answer that we get is our subject.

Let’s see how. By putting WHO and WHAT/WHICH before CRICKET in the first sentence we get WHO CRICKET and WHAT/WHICH CRICKET. We see that both of these questions are not making a sense even, so here the word CRICKET can’t be the verb. Try it with the word DAILY. The questions we get are WHO DAILY and WHAT/WHICH DAILY, again we see both of these questions are not making a sense. Put these words before the word PLAY. WHO PLAYS and WHAT PLAYS, here we see that the question WHO PLAYS is meaningful, and the answer got is RAHUL. So here our verb is PLAY and the subject is RAHUL. In this manner we can find the verb and subject of any sentence.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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