English FAL Matric Revision: Sentence structure in English

Revision Notes for Grade 12 CAPS Mathematical Literacy

Sentence Structure in English


Understanding sentence structure is essential for effectively communicating in English. The primary components of sentence structure are subjects, verbs, and objects. Grasping these fundamentals helps in constructing coherent and grammatically correct sentences, which is crucial for both written and spoken English.

Key Points

  1. Parts of a Sentence:
  2. Subject: The person or thing performing the action (e.g., “The cat”).
  3. Verb: The action being performed (e.g., “chased”).
  4. Object: The person or thing receiving the action (e.g., “the mouse”).

Example: “The cat (subject) chased (verb) the mouse (object).”

  1. Simple and Complete Subjects/Predicts:
  2. Simple Subject: Main word or words in the subject (e.g., “The cat”).
  3. Complete Subject: All words that describe the subject (e.g., “The strong, black cat”).
  4. Simple Predicate: Main verb in the predicate (e.g., “chased”).
  5. Complete Predicate: All words that describe the verb and its details (e.g., “chased the mouse quickly down the street”).

– Simple Subject: “The cat”
– Complete Subject: “The strong, black cat”
– Simple Predicate: “chased”
– Complete Predicate: “chased the mouse quickly down the street”

  1. Types of Sentences:
  2. Statements (Declarative): Provide information (e.g., “I play the piano.”).
  3. Questions (Interrogative): Ask something (e.g., “Do you play the piano?”).
  4. Commands (Imperative): Give orders or instructions (e.g., “Play the piano.”).
  5. Exclamations (Exclamatory): Express strong emotions (e.g., “What a wonderful performance!”).

  6. Parts of Speech:

  7. Nouns: People, places, things, or ideas (e.g., “cat,” “freedom”).
  8. Pronouns: Replace nouns (e.g., “he,” “they”).
  9. Determiners: Specify nouns (e.g., “the,” “many”).
  10. Adjectives: Describe nouns (e.g., “big,” “red”).
  11. Verbs: Action or state of being (e.g., “run,” “is”).
  12. Adverbs: Modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs (e.g., “quickly,” “very”).
  13. Prepositions: Show relationships in time or space (e.g., “on,” “before”).
  14. Conjunctions: Connect words, phrases, or clauses (e.g., “and,” “because”) .

Real-World Applications

Example 1: Writing a Letter

  • Subject: “I”
  • Verb: “am writing”
  • Object: “this letter”

Sentence: “I am writing this letter to inform you about the upcoming event.”

Example 2: Giving Directions

  • Command: “Turn left at the end of the street.”

Common Misconceptions and Errors

  1. Subject-Verb Agreement:
  2. Error: “The cats runs fast.”
  3. Correction: “The cats run fast.”
  4. Tip: Ensure subjects and verbs agree in number (singular/plural).

  5. Using Incorrect Pronouns:

  6. Error: “Me and her went to the store.”
  7. Correction: “She and I went to the store.”
  8. Tip: Use the correct form of pronouns in subjects and objects.

  9. Misplaced Adjectives/Adverbs:

  10. Error: “He ate only the bread.”
  11. Correction: “He only ate the bread.”
  12. Tip: Place modifiers next to the words they describe.

Practice and Review

Basic Practice Questions:

  1. Identify the subject, verb, and object in the following sentences:
    a) “The teacher explained the lesson.”
    b) “They are playing soccer.”

  2. Correct the sentence if needed:
    a) “She do the homework.”
    b) “They loves to read books.”


  1. a) Subject: “The teacher”, Verb: “explained”, Object: “the lesson”.
  2. b) Subject: “They”, Verb: “are playing”, Object: “soccer”.
  3. a) “She does the homework.”
  4. b) “They love to read books.”

Connections and Extensions

  1. Parts of Speech: Understanding parts of speech helps in constructing complex and compound sentences.
  2. Punctuation: Use correct punctuation marks for different sentence types to avoid confusion.
  3. Real-World Writing: Apply sentence structure knowledge in essays, reports, and everyday communication.

Summary and Quick Review

  1. Subject, Verb, Object: Basic components of a sentence.
  2. Sentence Types: Statements, questions, commands, and exclamations.
  3. Common Mistakes: Subject-verb agreement, incorrect pronouns, misplaced modifiers.

Additional Resources

  • Grammar Websites:
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
  • Grammarly Blog
  • Videos:
  • “Sentence Structure” by Khan Academy.
  • “Parts of Speech” by TED-Ed.

By mastering these basics of sentence structure, you can improve your writing clarity and effectiveness, aiding both your academic and everyday communication.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.