Restrictive clause

Published: 2019-06-25 07:00:00
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A restrictive clause tries to limit the implication of the preceding subject. This can be shown in the sentence below:

The school admitted the students that were more than ten years old.

The above sentence tells us that the only students that were allowed and admitted in the school were those that were above ten years old.

Nonrestrictive clause

The nonrestrictive clauses give us some information about the preceding subject but do actually limit the subjects meaning. This easily demonstrated in the sentence below.

The young man in the kitchen, who drives a blue Mercedes, is Nancys brother.

This sentence tells us that of all the young men in the world, Nancys brother is restricted to the one in the kitchen but the clause who drives a blue Mercedes is nonrestrictive since many people can drive that model of a car.

An appositive

It can be any naming word that is used to rename another noun right after it as demonstrated in the sentence below.

The man, Mr. Amos, punished us without fear or favor.

The appositive here is Mr. Amos which a noun and it gives us more information about another noun which is man who administered the punishment.

A direct object

A direct object is the receiver of the action from the subject as shown below.

Mr. Rooneys dog bit the boys when they attempted to trespass his property.

The boys are the direct object since they receive the action of being bitten by Mr. Rooneys dog which is the subject of the sentence.

Absolute phrase

Absolute phrase is a combination of a noun, a participle and modifiers or objects as demonstrated in the sentence below.

We gulped down Aunt Mercys queen cakes, our hands scraping the leftover frosting off the plates.

The absolute phrase in the sentence above is our hands scraping the leftover frosting off the plate comprises of hands which is a noun, frosting which is a direct object, and off the plates, our, the and leftover are the modifiers.

Items in a series

A sentence that comprises items in a series may occur whenever it includes a list of two or more things.


For his girlfriends birthday, Larry bought a dress, a pair of shoes and a bag so that he could impress her.

The dress, pair of shoes and a bag are all nouns arranged in a series in the sentence.

Indirect object

An indirect object voices whom or for whom is something done as demonstrated in the sentence below:

Mrs. Loraine bought her baby boy an island.

The above sentence tells to whom Mrs. Loraine bought an island. Therefore the indirect object here is baby boy.

Split quotation

A sentence with contains of a quote that is separated by the speaker. For example;

I am angry at John, said Mary, I wonder if we shall ever be friends again.

Explanation: there are two different quotes by the same speaker.

Subordinate clause

A subordinate clause begins with a subordinate conjunction and a relative pronoun and contains a subject and a verb. For example;

Even though the pork was well cooked, Evelyn did not partake of it.

A compound sentence

A compound sentence denotes a sentence composed of two independent clauses connected to each other with a conjunction. Example;

I waited for Jacqueline to turn up during lunch break, but she was late

Explanation: but is the conjunction joining two different clauses

Sentence composition

Prepositional phrase

A prepositional phrase refers to a group of words, say three to five that commence with a preposition (referring to direction, time or place). An example of a sentence with a prepositional phrase is;

At the entrance of the main gate is the principals office in which trophies won during sporting activities are stored.

Explanation; the above sentence has two prepositional phrases which are; at the entrance and in the principals office. Trophies is the subject of the sentence.

Relative clause

A relative clause is dependant. A comparative clause has both a subject and a verb but cant stand as an independent sentence. The phrase also begins with a relative pronoun like who, whose, whom, that or which. Lastly, the clause acts as an adjective answering the questions what kind? How many? And which one?

Example in a sentence;

To appease his mathematics teacher, Lawrence wrote an apology letter which Mr. Johnston did not accept

Explanation: Which is a relative pronoun? Mr. Johnston is the subject while did not accept is the verb

A simple sentence with a compound verb

A single subject in a given sentence can have more than one verb, thus such a sentence is thought to take a compound verb. An example a sentence with a compound verb;

Before going to school, Joan packed her younger brothers lunch and locked all doors to the house.

Explanation: both packing her brothers lunch and locking the doors describe Joans (subject) actions.

A simple sentence with a compound subject

The subject of a sentence is commonly a person, a thing, a place or an idea. When a sentence has more than on subject, it is said to have a compound subject. An example of such a sentence is;

Zebras and Giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth

Explanation: And is used to join the two subjects in the above sentence.

A sentence with the subject at the end (inverted word order)

As long as a sentence expresses a complete thought, the word order can be inverted such that the subject comes in the middle or at the end of the sentence. For example;

From the bushes appeared a buffalo.

Explanation: Buffalo is the subject coming at the end of the sentence.

A sentence in the active voice

Active voice explains a sentence in which the subject is performing the action stated by a verb. For example;

Angela ate whole fish for lunch.

Explanation: Angela is the subject performing the eating action

A sentence in the passive voice

This is the opposite of a sentence in the active voice. In passive voice, the subjected is acted on by verb. For example;

At lunch time, a whole fish was eaten by Angela.

Explanation; the verb, eat, is acting on the subject.

A sentence using the subjunctive mood

The subjunctive mood is the form of verb used in expressing a wish, suggestion, commanding or in a condition thats contrary to a fact. For example;

The supervisor recommended that the reports be submitted with immediate effect.

Explanation: in this case, reports are submitted becomes reports be submitted giving the sentence a subjunctive mood.

A sentence with two coordinate adjectives

Coordinate adjectives appear in a sequence with one another and are made separate from each other with a comma, or and. They come before the final adjective. For example;

Scientists warned of another season of cold, rainy days across the world.

A sentence with two adjectives and one adverb

When there is more than one adjective in a sentence, the opinion adjective comes before fact adjectives and fact adjectives are in form of size-age-color-origin-material. An example of such a sentence is;

A brave young girl was beautifully dressed before presenting a song to the president

Explanation: brave and young are adjectives describing the girl while beautifully is an adverb expressing how the girl was dressed

Part iii

A sentence with correlatives

These come in pairs like; neithernor, eitheror, bothand, not only but also. Example in a sentence

At school, she was neither a book warmer nor a sports person.

Gerund as the subject

Even though a gerund looks like a verb, it functions like a noun. It also looks like a present participle but the two are different. Example of a gerund in a sentence;

Smoking is dangerous to ones health.

Explanation: Smoking is the gerund in the sentence above.


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