What is a sentence?

2 Answers

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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A sentence is a grammar term that refers to a self-contained group of words that expresses a thought, statement, question, or command.  The first word of a written sentence must be capitalized,  and the sentence must end with the correct punctuation mark--either a period, question mark, or exclamation point.  A sentence contains a subject and a verb or predicate. 

For example:

The child skipped.

  • In this sentence, the word 'child' is the subject, and 'skipped' is the verb

The dog ate my homework.

  • The subject in this sentence is 'dog,' and the verb is 'ate.'

These examples were Simple Sentences, but many other types of sentences exist, such as Compound Sentences, Complex Sentences, or even Compound-Complex.


Compound: The dog ate my homework, so I had to redo the assignment.

Complex: When the dog ate my homework, I cried.

Compound-Complex:  When the dog ate my homework, I cried, but my friend comforted me.

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user3861037 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

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In simple terms, a sentence is a set of words that contain:

  1. subject (what the sentence is about, the topic of the sentence)
  2. predicate (what is said about the subject)

The sentence itself may convey a statement, question, exclamation and etc.  Articulate ideas are generally presented as such.