How to build sentences – part I

A sentence is a group of words that make complete sense. A sentence always begins with a capital letter. It ends with a full stop, a question mark or an exclamatory mark.

Examples are given below:

  • Sun rises in the east.
  • Susie is a teacher.
  • The cat is on the roof.

A sentence has two parts – the subject and the predicate.

The subject is usually a person, a thing, a place, an event or an idea. The subject usually comes at the beginning of the sentence. It can also come in other places but you don’t have to learn about them at the moment.

Now study the examples given below. Can you identify the subjects in them?

  • John is a clever boy.
  • Who is a clever boy? John.

We are talking about John in this sentence. And hence John is the subject.

  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • What is the best policy? Honesty

We are talking about honesty in this sentence. And hence honesty is the subject.

The subject is the answer to the question who or what.

More examples are given below.

  • Honey is sweet. (What is sweet? Honey)
  • Sun rises in the east. (Who/what rises in the east? Sun)
  • Gold is a precious metal. (What is a precious metal? Gold)
  • Yellow is my favorite color. (What is my favorite color? Yellow)

Sometimes the subject consists of more than one word. Articles (a, an, the) are the words most commonly used with subjects.

Study the examples given below.

  • A boy walked into the store.
  • Who walked into the store? A boy

Here boy is the subject. What is ‘a’ then? Well, ‘a’ is an article. It is a word used with singular countable nouns. The words ‘the’ and ‘an’ are also articles. An is used before nouns that begin with a vowel sound (a, e, I, o, u). A is used before nouns that begin with other sounds. ‘The’ can be used with all nouns.