• While speaking or writing something, we use words. We use these words in groups. Such group of words that convey complete sense is called a sentence.
  • But these old views are defective in two points:



Teacher:   Have you done your homework? [Multi-word sentence    ]

Student:   yes.                                               [Single-word sentence   ]

Teacher:  All right.                                        [Verb-fewer sentences   ]

Some other single-word sentences:

Assertive sentences:                      yes, No, Certainly, Impossible, etc.

Imperative sentences:                    come, look, halt, stop, wait, etc.

Interrogative sentences:                Why? Where? What? Etc.

Exclamatory sentences:                 Hello!  Good!    Bravo! Hurrah!

Verb-less sentences:                      Not at all, not yet, why not? So what? etc.

Some other sentences with verb and without verb [side by side]

Sentence with verb

Sentence without verb

What`s your name?

Please show me your ticket.

What`s the time now?

It is just five past 10.

How much is that book?

Name, please.

Ticket, please.

Time, please.

Just five past 10.

How much for that book?

Note: in written form of English we usually use sentences having a group of words with verbs. But in spoken English we often use single word or verb-less group of words as sentences.

(ii)               A sentence may not sometimes convey a complete sense as a sentence may be extended from a short one to a bigger one by left branching or / and right branching.


  • Now the question arises:
  • Can we call a sentence complete, more complete, most complete etc.? We must say: no.(as in that case the word ‘complete’ itself becomes insignificant .however, in all the examples mentioned above, there is a clear meaning. And, if we use ‘clear meaning’ in place of ‘complete sense’, there is no dispute in the definition of sentence.
  • Hence, we should modify the definition of a sentence as below:

The new Concept

  • A word or a group of words having a clear meaning in a given context is called a sentence.
  • For such clear meaning, a multi-word sentence must have a proper order of words.

Not a sentence for no proper order of words

Sentence for proper order of words

Goes he to school.

Fat man the slowly walks.

The beggar a rupee give


He goes to school.

The fat man walks slowly.

Give the beggar a rupee.

  • So we say:
  • A sentence must have a proper order of words and a clear meaning.



  • A multi-word sentence with a verb may be divided into two parts:


  • 1.      The part which names the person or thing we speaking about are called the subject of the sentence.
  • 2.      The part which tells something about the subject is called the predicate of the sentence.
  • Subject or Noun Part: The subject part of the sentence consists of Nouns, Pronouns, or Adjectives.
  • Predicate or Verb Part:The predicate part of the sentence consists of Finite Verbs, Objects /Complements, Adverbials and Modifiers.




The boy

The intelligent boy

Got the prize.

Got the prize for standing first in the exam.

  • In the above-mentioned sentence, ‘the boy got the prize’, ‘boy’ is the subject proper’ and ‘the’ is the ‘Adjunct to Subject’. In the sentence ‘the intelligent boy got the prize for standing first in the exam’, ‘the’ as well as ‘intelligent’ are the Adjunct to Subject’. Usually the subject comes first and then comes the predicate. But sometimes the whole predicate or a part of the predicate is placed before the subject for the sake of emphasis.


Those days are gone.                              Gone are   those days.  

                                                               Predicate    Subject

The uses of adversity are sweet.          Sweet are       the uses of adversity.

                                                              Predicate           Subject

I have none—silver and gold.     Silver and gold have     I             none

                                                           Predicate          Subject    Predicate

Note: sometimes the subject may be understood:

Thank you. (Here the subject ‘I’ is understood.)

In almost all imperative sentences, the subject is understood:

Sit down. (Here the subject ‘you’ is understood.)

In exclamatory sentences, the subject and a part of the predicate can be understood..

Well done! (That was well done. ‘That was’ understood.)

No more of that! (Let us have no more of that. ‘let us have’ understood.)




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