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What is a sentence?

 

Sentence features

A sentence is a written expression of a complete thought.

A sentence contains:

  • a capital letter at the beginning and a full stop at the end
  • a subject (person/people or thing[s] that is/are doing something)
  • a verb (action or doing word).

Example

Sentance image
[subject: Climate change] [verb: is] adversely [verb: affecting] the environment. All sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop.

Two errors that are commonly found in students’ work are:

  • run-on sentences
  • sentence fragments.


Run-on sentences

A run-on sentence occurs when two simple sentences are incorrectly joined.

Image of a running group, with one person running ahead.

Example

Poverty, famine and major public health problems around the developing world are important indicators of a changing climate these issues are not being addressed globally.    

There are two ways to resolve a run-on sentence.

1. Use a joining word.
(and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet)
    
Poverty, famine and major public health problems around the developing world are an important indicator of a changing climate but these issues are not being addressed globally.

2. Make two separate sentences.

Poverty, famine and major public health problems around the developing world are an important indicator of a changing climate. These issues are not being addressed globally.