English Grammar In Focus
Learning English Grammar As A Foreign Language

date: February 17, 2010

STEP-3 : UNDERSTANDING THE SENTENCE'S CORE ELEMENTS DEEPLY

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When you think that you have already understood the core elements of a simple sentence and know how to build a verbal and nominal sentence, now's time for you to go to the third step : Understanding the basic patterns of simple Sentence.

Remember that when you think that you are still confused of the previous discussions or lessons, please let me know by submitting your question here. I will try to answer your question as soon as possible. And, please don't continue this lesson (Step-3) before you understand all previous English lessons.

Let's go to the point!

ELEMENT ONE : SUBJECT


Subject is the doer. What predicate produces is what the doer does. It is impossible (in "Logical Grammar" copyright (C) 3nglish7) when there's a deed or an action without knowing what or who did it?.

For examples:

I write a letter.

In the sentence we can see the action /write/. When there's someone ask who writes the letter? the answer must be "I". So, it's impossible for us to say like this:

Write a letter.

Let me tell you that English pattern is different of, say, chinese language which is no subjects included in the sentence they say (commony used without a subject in speaking), like :

yu mei yu cien? (have some money?). "yu" is the same as "have" or "has".

So, The use and the position of subject in English is very important (specially for you as a beginner in Grammar).

POSTION OF A SUBJECT


Subject is always placed in the beginning of a sentence or placed before the Verb (Whether lexical-verb or structural-verb). This position in a sentence is a must. we cannot turn it to the verb position or object position.

For example:

Andi has been registered as a new member at the club.

WHAT WORDS CAN BE PLACED OR POSITIONED AS A SUBJECT

There are 2 kinds of word and one phrase can be placed or positioned as a subject, they are:

1. Noun
2. Pronoun
3. Phrase (Noun Phrase)


For examples:

Jakarta is a big city.
They always blame me.
My English teacher graduated from S3-English Department in University of Indonesia.

The word /jakarta/ is a noun, the word /they is a pronoun (or Subjective pronoun) and /My English teacher is Noun Phrase.

Because of what subject does is the same as what object does, Three elements above can be used in Object Position. On the other hand, Noun, Pronoun and noun phrase can be positioned in Object Position.

For Examples:

She blames me.
He sent the letter to the manager.
I want to read your own work.

See that the word /me/ is pronoun (or Objective Pronoun), The /manager/ is a noun, and /your own work/ is a noun phrase.

Position which can not be placed by other elements of a sentence is only Verb because the verb is a central position and a vital element which can not be replaced by others.

ELEMENT ONE : VERB

Like you have already learned in the previous lessons, There are two basic verbs in English, they are Lexical-meaning-verb (e.g. work, read, speak, run, etc) and structural-meaning-verb (is, am, are, was, were, be and been).

Lexical-meaning-verb must be in Bare-Infinitive form (this definition is copyrighted - 3nglish7). Do you still remember what Bare-infinitive is? (Yaph!, the first verb without "to" before it. e.g. go, stand, sit, come, etc --- To infinitive, e.g. to go, to sleep, to stand, to sit ... etc).

It is impossible for us to say:

I to go to school.

The word /to go/ is to infinitive. This position is wrong. So, it must be replaced by Bare-Infinitive, like:

I go to school.

Bare-infinitive which is used and positioned after the subject is first verb or the present verb form.

Study this following illustration!




we also can not place the "be" before the verb, like:

I be study English (false)
I am study English (false)
I am study (false)
I study English (True).

Notice that /study/ is lexical-meaning-verb so it's impossible to place the structural-meaning-verb (be) at the same time or place with lexical-meaning-verb. This will affect terrible mistakes!

For examples:

I am cut.

When you look up your list of irregular verb, you'll find that the verb/cut/ has the same spelling.

Bare-infitive     : cut
Past Verb         : cut
Past participle : cut


When there's a be before the verb (like, cut), this will be considered as a past participle and as a consiquence, the sentence turns into the passive voice. And, This question will be shouted:

Who cut you?
(3nglish7's comment : "....laughing.")

POSITION OF A VERB

Because the verb is a vital element. verb must be position between subject and object or adverb. It is possible for us to place an adverb before the verb, like :

We often learn English together.

The word /often/ is an adverb of frequency. This position doesn't replaced the core-function and the position of the verb.

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