Today we are going to talk about the sentence. There are several things a sentence needs or it is not a sentence.
First, a sentence always starts with a capital letter beginning its first word.
Second, a sentence ends with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point. A period is used for most sentences. If the sentence is a question, it needs a question mark. If you are saying a command or want to emphasizes something, use an exclamation point.
Note: Be careful in using exclamation points too much or it feels like shouting. Use in moderation.
Inside the sentence, there are two parts: the subject and the predicate.
The subject is who or what the sentence is about. It can be a person, place, thing, or idea. It is usually a noun or a pronoun. A proper name such as Lisa or Utah is always a noun. It can also be less specific like dog or love. A pronoun substitutes for a noun. Some pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.
A predicate describes what the subject does or what happens to the subject. It is action and it always includes a verb.
A sentence fragment either has no subject, no predicate, or even with both is still incomplete.
Ex: Because the cake fell. – Even though there is a subject (the cake) and a predicate (fell) the word because makes it still feel incomplete, and in fact it is incomplete. Because indicates that there is something further to be said about what happened after the cake fell, something that happened as a result of the cake falling.
A run-on sentence is one that is too long and probably has two complete thoughts in it. In other words, the sentence could in reality be two sentences because there are two subjects and predicates. You can use commas and semicolons to join them if you feel the two ideas need to stay together. However, my rule of thumb is if using a normal font and size the sentence is more than three lines long, it is too lengthy and needs to be divided or otherwise redone.
In summary, a sentence begins with a capital letter; it ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation point; it has a subject and a predicate.