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 Foreign Language
Success Strategies

First Edition, Volume I: August 2006  

Part II- English Language Grammar Primer & Exercises

Lesson 7

Objective : Upon completion of this lesson, you will:

• Identify the type of verb associated with each sentence type.
• Given a sentence, identify the basic sentence structure.
• Create questions.

A sentence is simply the combination of a complete verb with one or more noun phrases. A noun phrase (NP) may contain an article and any number of adjectives or adverbs. A noun phrase may be in one of many places in a sentence, such as subject, direct object, indirect object, subjective and objective complements, and object of the preposition. The usual arrangement of noun phrase components is (Art) + (Adv) + (Adj) + N, but remember that all parts of the noun phrase need not be present.

We have already learned that we use a noun, pronoun, or noun equivalent to name a person, place, or thing. The following lesson discusses specific grammatical roles they fill in sentences. Noun phrases have one mandatory part and several optional parts. The mandatory component of the noun phrase is the noun, pronoun, or noun equivalent itself. Demonstrative adjectives (a, an, the), adjectives, and adverbs are not always present.

Examples: Basketballs are round. (S = N)
I gave her flowers. (S = PN, IO = PN, DO = N)
Reginald’s hobby is running. (SC = NE)
(The) (round) basketballs are (very) nice. (S = N)
NOTE: The sentence would still be logical without the demonstrative adjective the,
the adjective round, or the adverb very; for example: Basketballs are nice.

A verb phrase (VP) includes the main verb, modals, auxiliaries, and any adverbs. The main verb in the verb phrase of a sentence determines the function of the noun phrases. A verb may either indicate action or existence in a sentence. The two main types of verbs are transitive and intransitive. The most important difference between these two types is that transitive verbs always take at least one object and intransitive verbs never take an object. Many verbs may do both, depending on their use in a particular sentence.


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