A sentence with only one independent clause (also known as a main clause).
The simple sentence is one of the four basic sentence structures. The other structures are the compound sentence, the complex sentence, and the compound-complex sentence.
"With regard to simple sentences, it ought to be observed first, that there are degrees in simplicity. 'God made man,' is a very simple sentence. 'On the sixth day God made man of the dust of the earth after his own image,' is still a simple sentence in the sense of rhetoricians and critics, as it hath but one verb, but less simple than the former, on account of the circumstances specified.
"A sentence is classified simple even when it has a compound subject or predicate (or both) and includes modifying words and phrases:
You and your friends can see the mountain on your next trip.
You can see the mountain and climb to the top.
The finite verb, expressing the basic predicative meaning of the sentence and performing the function of the predicate, and the subject combined with it form the so-called “predicative line” of the sentence. On the basis of predicative line presentation, sentences are divided into monopredicative (with one predicative line expressed), i.e. simple, and polypredicative (with two or more predicative lines expressed), i.e. composite and semi-composite.
The most basic type of sentence is the simple sentence, which contains only one clause. A simple sentence can be as short as one word:
Usually, however, the sentence has a subject as well as a predicate and both the subject and the predicate may have modifiers. All of the following are simple sentences, because each contains only one clause:
The ice melts quickly.
The ice on the river melts quickly under the warm March sun.
Lying exposed without its blanket of snow, the ice on the river melts quickly under the warm March sun.
As you can see, a simple sentence can be quite long -- it is a mistake to think that you can tell a simple sentence from a compound sentence or a complex sentence simply by its length.
The most natural sentence structure is the simple sentence: it is the first kind which children learn to speak, and it remains by far the most common sentence in the spoken language of people of all ages. In written work, simple sentences can be very effective for grabbing a reader's attention or for summing up an argument, but you have to use them with care: too many simple sentences can make your writing seem childish.
When you do use simple sentences, you should add transitional phrases to connect them to the surrounding sentences.
? 26. The subject. Types of subjects.
The subject is the independent member of a two-member predication, containing the person component of predicativity. The subject is generally defined as a word or a group of words denoting the thing we speak about. The subject of a simple sentence can be a word, a syntactical word-morpheme or a complex. As a word it can belong to different parts of speech, but it is mostly a noun or a pronoun. A word used as a subject combines the lexical meaning with the structural meaning of “person”. So it is at the same time the structural and the notional subject. We may speak of a secondary subject within a complex. The syntactical word-morphemes there and it may also function as secondary subjects (It being cold, we put on our coats. I knew of there being no one to help them). The analysis of sentences like He was seen to enter the house, is a point at issue. Traditionally the infinitive is said to form part of the complex subject (He…to enter). Ilyish maintains that though satisfactory from the logical point of view, this interpretation seems to be artificial grammatically, this splitting of the subject being alien to English. He suggests that only HE should be treated as a subject, whereas was sees to enter represents a peculiar type of compound predicate. Some grammarians (Smirnitsky, Ganshina) speak of definite-personal, indefinite-personal, impersonal sentences, but it is a semantical classification of subjects, not sentences. If we compare the subject in English with that of Russian we shall find a considerable difference between them. In Russian the subject is characterized by a distinct morphological feature – the nominative case, in English it is indicated by the position it occupies in the sentence. In Russian the subject is much less obligatory as a part of the sentence than in English. In English the subject may be a syntactical word-morpheme, a gerund, or a complex, which is alien to Russian.
27 The object. Types of objects.
An object in grammar is part of a sentence, and often part of the predicate. It denotes somebody or something involved in the subject's "performance" of the verb. Basically, it is what the verb is being done to. As an example, the following sentence is given:
In the sentence "Bobby kicked the ball", "ball" is the object.
"Bobby" is the subject, the doer or performer, while "kick" is the action, and "ball" is the object involved in the action.
The main verb in the sentence determines whether there can or must be objects in the sentence, and if so how many and of what type. (See also Valency (linguistics).) In many languages, however, including English, the same verb can allow multiple different structures; for example, "Bobby kicked" and "Bobby kicked the ball" are both valid English sentences.
Types of object
Objects fall into three classes: direct objects, adpositional objects, and non-prepositional indirect objects. A direct object answers the question "What?", while an indirect object answers the question "To whom?" or "For whom?". An indirect object is the recipient of the direct object, or an otherwise affected participant in the event. There must be a direct object for an indirect object to be placed in a sentence. Some examples:
In "Danielle ate fruit", fruit is the direct object of the verb ate. It corresponds to the accusative of languages with grammatical cases.
In "They sent him a postcard", him is the (non-prepositional) indirect object of the verb sent (which uses a double-object construction). It typically corresponds to the dative case.
In "We listened to the radio", radio is the object of the preposition to, and the prepositional object of the simple past of the phrasal verb to listen to. It can correspond to a variety of cases and complements.
In many languages, including German, Latin, and Classical Arabic, objects can change form slightly (decline) to indicate what kind of object they are (their case). This does not happen in English (though a few English pronouns do have separate subject and object forms); rather, the type of object is indicated strictly by word order. Also, some objects are treated differently from others in particular languages. In Spanish, for example, human objects have to get a preposition 'a'. This is called differential object marking.
Forms of object
An object may take any of a number of forms, all of them nominal in some sense. Common forms include:
A noun or noun phrase, as in "I remembered her advice."
An infinitive or infinitival clause, as in "I remembered to eat."
A gerund or gerund phrase, as in "I remembered being there."
A declarative content clause, as in "I remembered that he was blond."
An interrogative content clause, as in "I remembered why she had left."
A fused relative clause, as in "I remembered what she wanted me to do."