Parts of a Sentence

Janet Phelps       ,

Independent Clause – A clause containing both a subject and a predicate, meaning that it can stand alone as a complete and grammatically correct sentence.

Dependent Clause – A clause that contains only a subject or a predicate, meaning that it cannot stand alone as a sentence.

Subject – What or whom the sentence is about. This is made up of nouns, pronouns, or groups of words performing the function of a noun, which performs the action listed in the predicate. Example: I gave Lindsay a book. Since the I in this sentence is the person giving the book, I is the subject.

Predicate – The part of the sentence that is not the subject. This can include the verb or verb phrase and its objects. Example: I gave Lindsay the book. Giving is the action, so it is the verb in the predicate, while the book is being given to Lindsay, meaning that they are objects of the sentence. Everything after I in this sentence is the predicate.

Object – The receiver of the action of the verb, or who or what completes the description about the subject.

Types of Objects

  • Direct Object – The recipient of the action. Example: I gave Lindsay the book. In this example the book is what is being given, so it is receiving the action and is the direct object.
  • Indirect Object – Indicates to or for whom or what the verb is performed. Example: I gave Lindsay the book. In this example the act of giving is done for Lindsay, so Lindsay is the indirect object.
  • Subject Complements – Follows a linking verb and renames or describes the subject. Example: A dog is a mammal. In this sentence, mammal is another term describing the dog, so it is a subject complement.
  • Object Complements – A word or phrase that renames or describes the direct object of the sentence. Example: They called their son John. In this example, their son is being called, and the name John is just further information renaming the son. John is the object complement.

Prepositional Phrase – A phrase in a sentence that begins with a preposition and ends with a pronoun, noun, or noun phrase. Example: We went to the park. The prepositional phrase begins with the preposition to and ends with the noun park. This noun is the object of the prepositional phrase.