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GEN 100

Writing Workshop

The Sentence

Most students who enter Writing Workshop know a fair amount of English-language grammar, but most students do not have a good idea of how it fits together. The aim of this unit is to define the different grammatical parts which explain sentence grammar, and then show you how they fit together and how you can use them to make clear and concise sentences for your essays.

Basic Structure

Sentences are made up of a subject and a predicate.

The subject is a noun, pronoun, or a phrase or clause which acts like a noun.

The predicate is everything in the sentence aside from the subject. A simple predicate is just the verb phrase; the complete predicate includes the complement.

A complement is the part of the predicate aside from the verb phrase. It can include the direct object, indirect object, subject complement, or the object complement.

Forms of Sentences

A clause is a simple sentence, with a subject and a predicate. Clauses can be either independent (they can stand alone) or dependent (they require an independent clause).

There are four basic sentence forms:

Dependent Clauses

There are three types of dependent clauses:


Phrases are smaller parts of sentences, which together make up clauses. Phrases are different from clauses in that they are less complete; a phrase may contain a noun or a verb (predicate), but not both.

We will study eight types of phrases:


There are four types of conjunction: