Complex composite sentence
1. The Sentence
2. Classification of Sentences
3. The Composite Sentence
4. Compound Sentence
5. Complex Sentence
6. Types of Subordinate Clauses
The theme of my course paper sounds as following: «Types of Sentences». Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper.
Sentences with only one predication are called simple sentences. Those with more than one predication have usually no general name. We shall call them composite sentences.
In a composite sentence each predication together with the words attached is called a clause.
Composite sentences with coordinated clauses are compound sentences.
She's a very faithful creature and I trust her. (Cronin).
Composite sentences containing subordinated clauses are complex sentences.
If I let this chance slip, I'm a fool. (Cronin).
In a complex sentence we distinguish the principal clause (I'm a fool) and the subordinate clause (If I let this chance slip) or clauses.
Standing on such ground, I would like to point out tasks and aims of my work
1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term «sentence».
2. The second task is to give the classification of sentences in English.
3. The last task of my work is to characterize types of composite sentences.
In our opinion the practical significance of our work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and we hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language. Also this work can be used by teachers of English language for teaching English grammar.
The present work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:
1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with English verbs.
2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching English grammar.
3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.
After having proved the actuality of our work, I would like to describe the composition of it:
My work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. Within the introduction part we gave the brief description of our course paper. The main part of the work includes several items. There we discussed such problems as the types of sentences in English, their classification, the problem of composite sentences and etc. In the conclusion to our work we tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the present course paper. In bibliography part we mentioned some sources which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources.
1. The Sentence
The notion of sentence has not so far received a satisfactory definition, which would enable us by applying it in every particular case to find out whether a certain linguistic unit was a sentence or not.
Thus, for example, the question remains undecided whether such shop notices as Book Shop and such book titles as English are sentences or not. In favour of the view that they are sentences the following consideration can be brought forward. The notice Book Shop and the title English Grammar mean 'This is a book shop', 'This is an English Grammar'; the phrase is interpreted as the predicative of a sentence whose subject and link verb have been omitted, that is, it is apprehended as a unit of communication. According to the other possible view, such notices as Book Shop and such titles as English Grammar are not units of communication at all, but units of nomination, merely appended to the object they denote. Since there is as yet no definition of a sentence which would enable us to decide this question, it depends on everyone's subjective view which alternative he prefers. We will prefer the view that such notices and book titles are not sentences but rather nomination units.
We also mention here a special case. Some novels have titles formulated as sentences, e. g. The Stars Look Down, by A. Cronin, or They Came to a City, by J.B. Priestley. These are certainly sentences, but they are used as nomination units, for instance, Have you read The Stars Look Down? Do you like They Came to a City?
With the rise of modern ideas of paradigmatic syntax yet another problem concerning definition of sentence has to be considered.
In paradigmatic syntax, such units as He has arrived, He has not arrived, Has he arrived, He will arrive, He will not arrive, Will he arrive, etc., are treated as different forms of the same sentence, just as arrives, has arrived, will arrive etc., are different forms of the same verb. We may call this view of the sentence the paradigmatic view.
Now from the point of view of communication, He has arrived and He has not arrived are different sentences since they convey different information (indeed, the meaning of the one flatly contradicts that of the other).
2. Classification of Sentences
The problem of classification of sentences is a highly complicated one, and we will first consider the question of the principles of classification, and of the notions on which it can be based.
Let us begin by comparing a few sentences differing from each other in some respect. Take, for example, the following two sentences:
(1) But why did you leave England? (GALSWORTHY)
(2) There are to-day more people writing extremely well, in all departments of life, than ever before; what we have to do is to sharpen our judgement and pick these out from the still larger number who write extremely badly. (CRUMP)
Everyone will see that the two sentences are basically different. This is true, but very general and not grammatically exact. In order to arrive at a strictly grammatical statement of the difference (or differences) between them we must apply more exact methods of observation and analysis.
Let us, then, proceed to a careful observation of the features which constitute the difference between the two sentences.
1. The first sentence expresses a question, that is the speaker expects an answer which will supply the information he wants. The second sentence expresses a statement, that is, the author (or speaker) states his opinion on a certain subject. He does not ask about anything, or expect anybody to supply him any information. This difference is expressed in writing by the first sentence having a question mark at the end, while the second sentence has a full stop.
2. The first sentence is addressed to a certain hearer (or a few hearers present), and is meant to provoke the hearer's reaction (answer). The second sentence is not addressed to any particular person or persons and the author does not know how anybody will react to it.
3. The two sentences differ greatly in length: the first consists of only 6 words, while the second has 39.
4. The first sentence has no punctuation marks within it, while the second has two commas and a semicolon.
5. The first sentence has only one finite verb (did… leave), while the second has three (are, have, write).
These would seem to be some essential points of difference. We have riot yet found out which of them are really relevant from a grammatical viewpoint. We have not included in the above list those which are quite obviously irrelevant from that viewpoint; for example, the first sentence contains a proper name (England), while the second does not contain any, or, the second sentence contains a possessive pronoun (our) while the first does not, etc.
Let us now consider each of the five points of difference and see which of them are relevant from a purely grammatical point of view, for a classification of sentences.
Point 1 states a difference in the types of thought expressed in the two sentences. Without going into details of logical analysis, we can merely say that a question (as in the first sentence), and a proposition (as in the second) are different types of thought, in the logical acceptation of that term. The problem now is, whether this difference is or is not of any importance from the grammatical viewpoint. In Modern English sentences expressing questions (we will call them, as is usually done, interrogative sentences) have some characteristic grammatical features. These features are, in the first place, a specific word order in most cases (predicate – subject), as against the order subject – predicate in sentences expressing, propositions (declarative sentences). Thus word order may, with some reservations, be considered as a feature distinguishing this particular type of sentence from others. Another grammatical feature characterizing interrogative sentences (again, with some reservations) is the structure of the predicate verb, namely its analytical form «do + infinitive» (in our first sentence, did., leave…, not left), where in a declarative sentence there would be the simple form (without do). However, this feature is not restricted to interrogative sentences: as is well known, it also characterizes negative sentences. Anyhow, we can (always with some reservations) assume that word order and the form «do + infinitive» are grammatical features characterizing interrogative sentences, and in so far the first item of our list appears to be grammatically relevant. We will, accordingly, accept the types «interrogative sentence» and «declarative sentence» as grammatical types of sentences.
Point 2, treating of a difference between a sentence addressed to a definite hearer (or reader) and a sentence free from such limitation, appears not to be grammatical, important as it may be from other points of view. Accordingly, we will not include this distinction among grammatical features of sentences.
Point 3, showing a difference in the length of the sentences, namely in the number of words making up each of them, does not in itself constitute a grammatical feature, though it may be more remotely connected with grammatical distinctions.
Point 4 bears a close relation to grammatical peculiarities; more especially, a semicolon would be hardly possible in certain types of sentences (so-called simple sentences). But punctuation marks within a sentence are not in themselves grammatical features: they are rather a consequence of grammatical features whose essence is to be looked for elsewhere.
Point 5, on the contrary, is very important from a grammatical viewpoint. Indeed the number of finite verbs in a sentence is one of its main grammatical features. In this particular instance it should be noted that each of the three finite verbs has its own noun or pronoun belonging to it and expressing the doer of the action denoted by the verb: are has the noun people, have the pronoun we, and write the pronoun who. These are sure signs of the sentence being composite, not simple. Thus we will adopt the distinction between simple and composite sentences as a distinction between two grammatical types.
The items we have established as a result of comparing the two sentences given earlier certainly do not exhaust all the possible grammatical features a sentence can be shown to possess. They were only meant to illustrate the method to be applied if a reasonable grammatical classification of sentences is to be achieved. If we were to take another pair or other pairs of sentences and proceed to compare them in a similar way we should arrive at some more grammatical distinctions which have to be taken into account in making up a classification. We will not give any more examples but we will take up the grammatical classification of sentences in a systematic way.
It is evident that there are two principles of classification. Applying one of them, we obtain a classification into declarative, interrogative, and imperative sentences. We can call this principle that of «types of communication».
The other classification is according to structure. Here we state two main types: simple sentences and composite sentences. We will not now go into the question of a further subdivision of composite sentences, or into the question of possible intermediate types between simple and composite ones. These questions will be treated later on (see pages 200 and 254 respectively). Meanwhile, then, we get the following results:
Types of Sentences According to Types of Communication
Sentences belonging to the several types differ from each other in some grammatical points, too. Thus, interrogative sentences are characterized by a special word order. In interrogative sentences very few modal words are used, as the meanings of some modal words are incompatible with the meaning of an interrogative sentence. It is clear that modal words expressing full certainty, such as certainly, surely, naturally, etc., cannot appear in a sentence expressing a question. On the other hand, the modal word indeed, with its peculiar shades of meaning, is quite possible in interrogative sentences, for instance, Isn't so indeed? (SHAKESPEARE)
There are also sentences which might be termed semi-interrogative. The third sentence in the following passage belongs to this type:
«Well, I daresay that's more revealing about poor George than you. At any rate, he seems to have survived it.» «Oh, you’ve seen him?» She did not particularly mark her question for an answer, but it was, after all, the pivot-point, and Bone found himself replying – that indeed he had. (BUECHNER) The sentence Oh, you’ve seen him? is half-way between the affirmative declarative sentence, You have seen him, and the interrogative sentence, Have you seen him? Let us proceed to find out the precise characteristics of the sentence in