SUBJECTS AND PREDICATES

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Although sentences can be infinitely rich and complex, they are based on nouns
and verbs. Nearly everything else provides information about the nouns and
verbs in some way.
we can say that nouns tend to be the names of things, whereas verbs tend
to be words that describe actions and states of being. On this basis, we can see
that sentences generally express two types of relations: (a) an agent performing
an action; (b) existence. Sentences 1 and 2 illustrate the two types.

1. Dogs bark.
2. The tree was tall.

The word dogs is the agent of sentence 1. It performs the action conveyed in
the word bark. We also can say that dogs is the subject of the sentence. Thus,
subject is our first function category. The word bark supplies information about
dogs, stating or describing what they do.Words that state an action of this sort
and that supply information about the nature of subjects or what they are doing
are referred to as predicates. Thus, predicate is our second function category.A
predicate consists of the main verb of a sentence and all the words associated
with it. Although in sentence 2 the tree is not an agent, the sentence expresses a
fact about the tree’s existence—it was tall. The tree, therefore, is the subject,
and was tall is the predicate. Understanding subject and predicate is important
because these are the two central functional parts of all sentences. If one is
missing, we don’t have a sentence. Functionally, everything else in a sentence
is related to its subject and predicate in some way.
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Clauses

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All sentences in English can be divided into the two constituents of subject and predicate, even when, as sometimes occurs, the subject isn’t an explicit part of a given sentence.

Almost everything else that one may see in a sentence will be part of either the subject or the predicate.

In addition, a subject/predicate combination constitutes what is referred to as a clause.
This means that every sentence is a clause.
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PRONOUNS

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English, like other languages, resists the duplication of nouns in sentences, so it replaces duplicated nouns with what are called pronouns. (No one is sure why languages resist such duplication.) The nouns that get replaced are called antecedents.
Consider sentence 1:
1. Rahul liked Divya, so Rahul took Divya to a movie.

The duplication of the proper nouns Rahul and Divya just does not sound right to most people because English generally does not allow it.

The duplicated nouns are replaced, as in sentence 1a:
1a. Rahul liked Divya, so he took her to a movie.

Notice that sentence 1b also is acceptable:
1b. He liked her, so Rahul took Divya to a movie.

In this instance, however, sentence 1b is not quite as appropriate as 1a because the sentence lacks a context. Real sentences, as opposed to those that appear in books like this one, are part of a context that includes the complexities of human relationships; prior knowledge related to past, present, and future events; and, of course, prior conversations. The pronouns in sentence 1b suggest that Rahul and Divya already have been identified or are known. This suggestion is contrary to fact. In sentence 1a, on the other hand, Rahul and Divya appear in the first part of the sentence, so the pronouns are linked to these antecedents without any doubt or confusion about which nouns the pronouns have replaced. At work is an important principle for pronouns: They should appear as close to their antecedents as possible to avoid potential confusion.
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Common Nouns, Proper Nouns, and Mass Nouns

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There are three major types of nouns.

Common nouns, as the name suggests, are the largest variety. Common nouns signify a general class of words used in naming and include such words as those in the following list: car, shoe, computer, baby, disk, pad,etc.

Proper nouns, on the other hand, are specific names, such as Mr. smith.

Mass nouns are a special category of common nouns. What makes them distinct is that, unlike simple common nouns, they cannot be counted. Below is a short list of mass nouns: deer, air, mud, research, meat,etc.
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NOUNS

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As noted earlier, subjects and predicates are related to nouns and verbs. Traditional grammar defines a noun as a person, place, or thing. However, this definition is not the best because it isn’t sufficiently inclusive. The word Monday, for example, is a noun, but it is not a thing, nor is freedom or any number of other words. For this reason, it is tempting to define a noun in terms of function:
A noun is any word that can function as a subject.
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Phrases

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Although nouns and verbs provide an adequate classification system for very simple grammatical analyzes, they do not sufficiently account for the fact that sentences are made up of groups of words (and not just subjects and predicates) that function together. Subjects, for example, are not always composed of a single noun; more often than not they are made up of a noun and one or more other words working in conjunction with the noun. For this reason, the discussions that follow use the term phrase regularly. A phrase can be defined as one or more words functioning together as a unit that does not constitute a clause. On this account, the subject and predicate of Dogs bark are made up of a noun phrase (NP) and a verb phrase (VP), respectively, and in The tree was tall, the subject, The tree, also is a noun phrase.

We generally identify a phrase on the basis of a key word at its beginning, such as a noun or a verb. Consider these examples:
• flowers in her hair
• running with the bulls
In the first case, the phrase begins with flowers, which is a noun. In the second case, the phrase begins with running, which is a verb.We also refer to these words as head words because they are at the head of the phrase and the other words in the phrase are attached to them.
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Independent and Dependent Clauses

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There are two major types of clauses: Independent and dependent.

One way to differentiate the two types is to understand that dependent clauses always supply information to an independent clause. That is, they function as modifiers. Another way is to understand that dependent clauses begin with a word (sometimes two words) that links them to an independent clause. A clause that begins with one of these words cannot function as a sentence. Only independent clauses can function as sentences. Listed in the following table are some of these words: because, if, as, until, since, whereas, although, though, while.
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