Parts of a Sentence

Parts of a sentence are like the building blocks of communication. They can be combined to create complex structures, or used individually to produce short, concise messages. Structure your sentences incorrectly…and your reader’s attention will be lost. In this article, we’ll take a look at the different parts of a sentence and their functions.

Different Parts Of A Sentence

Parts of a sentence

A sentence has many different parts, each with its own important role to play. These are just a few of the important parts of a sentence – without them, communication would be impossible!

Independent Clause 

An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject, a verb, and a complete thought.

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

In other words, it’s a mini-sentence. For example, “I slept for eight hours last night” is an independent clause. But “I slept” is not, because it’s missing a subject (“who slept?“) and a verb (“slept what?“).

Similarly, “For eight hours last night” is not an independent clause either, because it’s also missing a subject. If you are curious if you drafted your independent clause (sentence) correctly…give our Sentence Checker tool at try!

Takeaway: Independent clause must have all three components: a subject, a verb, and a complete thought. If it’s missing any of those things, it’s not an independent clause.

Dependent Clause 

A dependent clause, however, contains a subject and a verb but no complete thought.

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

Dependent clauses are often introduced by subordinating conjunctions, such as “although,” “because,” or “when.”

For example, the following sentence contains two clauses: “I am studying for the test” is an independent clause, while “although I am tired” is a dependent clause. In this sentence, the dependent clause modifies the independent clause by explaining why the speaker is studying for the test.

Without the dependent clause, the sentence would simply be stating that the speaker is studying for the test without providing any context or explanation.


Parts of a sentence: Subject Complements
  • The subject in a sentence is the person, place, or thing that is performing the action.

In other words, it is the noun or pronoun that is doing the verb. For example, in the sentence “The cat is sleeping,” the subject is “cat.”

Similarly, in the sentence “I am writing a paper,” the subject is “I.” The subject can also be implied, as in the sentence “It is raining.” In this case, the subject is the weather phenomenon of rain, which is implied by the pronoun “it.”

Another ExampleI gave Lindsay a book. Since the I in this sentence is the person giving the book, I is the subject.


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.


The receiver of the action of the verb, or who or what completes the description of the subject. There are several types of objects including direct and indirect objects.

  • 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 – An 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 – Subject complements follow 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a predicate and simple predicate?

A simple predicate is the verb in a sentence without any modifiers. For example, in the sentence “The cat sat on the mat,” “sat” is the simple predicate. A predicate is the verb in a sentence with modifiers. For example, in the sentence “The cat quickly sat on the mat,” “quickly sat” is the predicate.

Is had a simple predicate?

Yes, “had” can be a simple predicate. In a verb phrase, the simple predicate is the main verb, without any auxiliaries or modifiers. So, in the sentence “I had a sandwich for lunch,” the simple predicate is “had.”

What is simple predicate examples?

It’s the part of the sentence that explains what the subject is doing. For example, in the sentence “The boy rode his bike,” the words “rode his bike” are the simple predicate. To find the simple predicate in a sentence, just ask yourself one question: What is the subject doing?

What is subject complement?

In grammar, a subject complement is a word or phrase that follows a linking verb and describes or identifies the subject. The most common type of subject complement is a noun or pronoun that functions as an adjective, telling us what kind of person or thing the subject is.

How to quote parts of a sentence?

When it comes to quotation marks, there are a few simple rules to remember. Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks, and colons and semicolons go outside.

The subject of a sentence may be what parts of speech?

The subject of a sentence is often thought of as a noun, and this is certainly the most common type of subject. However, the subject can also be a pronoun or even a noun phrase.

What are the two parts of a sentence?

Every sentence has two essential parts: the subject and the predicate. The subject is the noun or pronoun that is doing the verb, while the predicate is the verb itself.

A simple sentence contains which three parts of speech?

Every sentence has three essential parts: the subject, the verb, and the object. The subject is the noun or pronoun that is doing the verb, while the object is the noun or pronoun that is being affected by the verb.

How to identify parts of speech in a sentence?

In order to identify the parts of speech in a sentence, it is necessary to analyze the function that the word plays in the sentence. For example, take the sentence “The boy is eating an apple.” The word “boy” is the subject of the sentence, which is a noun. The word “eating” is the verb, which shows action. The word “an” is an article, which modifies the noun “apple.”

What are linking verbs?

A linking verb is a type of verb that connects the subject with an adjective or a noun that describes it. In other words, it links the subject to an attribute.

The Bottom Line

Now you know what makes a great sentence. You understand the different parts and how they work together to create an effective communication tool. With this knowledge, you can go out and write amazing sentences that will engage your readers and help get your point across.