Friday, December 06, 2013
The Rules of Writing-Syntax-The Sentence
By OFW chief editor:
Carlos J Cortes And Renée Miller
Published: June 14, 2013
What is a sentence? A sentence is a construction of clauses. A sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a period, question, or exclamation mark. Examples:
Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz.
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
The first example is the shortest sentence in the English language; the second is a thirty-one letter pangram—a composition using all the letters of the alphabet. The third is… a holistic jewel from one of the finest novels of the 20th century, written in three weeks on a 120-foot long roll of paper by a writer we love.
All three have one thing in common: they are sentences.
Sentences are the largest element of the English language ruled by grammar. Any text or conversation containing more than one sentence falls outside the competence of grammar and enters into the realm of discourse.
We create language from words, but the unit of grammar is the clause. It follows that the building blocks of sentences are clauses. This is the reason we insisted a writer must be familiar with the concept of clause before we begin our work with sentences.
The English language has two sentence classifications:
According to their clause structure.
According to form.
Structurally there are four sentence types:
In relation to form, sentences fall into another four groups or kinds:
In the following sections, we will examine both sentence classifications.
Renee Miller & Carlos Cortes
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