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Sentence Building

SENTENCE BUILDING
----o0o----

I. SIMPLE SENTENCES
A. Statements
Ex:
Subject
My head and neck
The students

Subject + Verb
Verb
hurt.
studied and worked.
Subject + Verb + Complement

Ex:
Subject
The students
We
My father
Her younger sister

Verb
are reading
dont understand
owns
wants

Complement
English. (noun)
her. (pronoun)
his own business. (noun phrase)
to study abroad. (verb phrase)

Practice 1
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Their daughter / teach / French / this school / last year

..
2.

boy / want / get married / soon

..
3.

Dave / one of / most prominent businessmen / this city

..
4.

Today I / celebrate / anniversary / my father's death

..
5.

He / speak / write / English / equal / well

..

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Sentence Building

B. Questions
When forming a question, we place the auxiliary or the verb be before the
subject. If there is no auxiliary or be, we must use the correct form of do,
does, or did. After do, does, or did, the simple form of the verb must be used.
1. Yes/No questions
Auxiliary + Subject + Main Verb + ...?
Ex:

Is Ho Chi Minh City a major cultural centre?


Do you believe what he tells you?
Will the committee decide on the proposal today?

2. Wh-Questions
a) Who or What in subject questions
Who
What
Ex:

+ Verb + Complement + ...?

Who was the first to come here?


What happened last night?

b) Who(m) and What in complement questions

Who(m)+
What

Ex:

Auxiliary + Subject + Verb + ... ?

What did Peter buy at the supermarket?


Whom(m) did you speak to?

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c) When, Where, How, and Why questions

When
Where
How
Why
Ex:

+ Auxiliary + Subject + Verb + ... ?

Why don't you buy some meat for dinner?


When should I end a letter with Yours sincerely?

d) Auxiliary + Subject + Verb + Question word + Subject + Verb + ...?


Ex:

Do you know whos been invited to Claires dinner party?


Could you tell me what time it is?
Practice 2

Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete


sentences.
1.

you / receive / letter yet?

..
2.

Who / going / drive?

..
3.

How long / it / take / fly / New York / California?

..
4.

you / know / when / they / go / build / new house?

..
5.

who / you / talk / to / yesterday?

..

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Sentence Building

II. COMPOUND SENTENCES


A. With Coordinating Conjunctions: and, but, so, for, or, yet,
Independent clause, + Coordinating Conjunction + Independent Clause

Ex:

Were making good progress, but weve still got a long way to go.
He obviously doesnt have a plan, or he would have said something.
She was often sad, and sometimes she didnt eat her food.

Practice 1
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

You / cook / lunch / and / I look / after / children

.
2.

The novel / 800 pages / long / yet / it read / quickly / than / many
shorter books

.
.
3.

Solar heating system / economical / operate / but / cost / installation /


very high

.
.
4.

There / be / enough beds / so / I / have / sleep / floor

.
5.

We must / begin / plan / now / for / future / may / bring / unexpected


changes

.
.

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Sentence Building

B. With Conjunctive Adverbs: however, nevertheless, moreover,


furthermore, accordingly, ...
Independent clause; + Conjunctive adverb, + Independent Clause
Ex:

No formal complaint was made; accordingly, the police took no


action.
Its a difficult race; nevertheless, about 1,000 runners participate
every year.
Many colleges do not have dormitories; however, they provide
housing referral service.

Practice 2
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.
Mr Brown / earned / respect / farmers everywhere / furthermore / know /
they / trust / him.

2.

His first response / be / say / no / however / change / mind / later.

3.

It / difficult race / nevertheless / about 1,000 / runner / participate / every


year.

4.

There / be / growing opposition / capital punishment / moreover / there /


be / now / evidence / many executed prisoners / innocent.

It / be / too late / invite / any more people / besides / you / know / how
Tim / hate parties

5.

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Sentence Building

C. With Semicolons
Independent clause; Independent clause
Ex:

Bob dominated Dave; Ken dominated me.


The American way of life apparently does not foster happiness; half
of all the American marriages end in divorce.

Practice 3
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Some people / keep dogs / pets / others / have / cats.

2.

My older brother / study / law / my younger brother / study /


medicine

3.

train / be / half / hour late / leave / station / we / not get / our


destination / time

5.

Three hundred guests / attend / wedding / two / attend / funeral

4.

I / always / sleep / alarm clock / my mother / have / wake / me / every


morning

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Sentence Building

III. COMPLEX SENTENCES


A. Adjective Clauses
1. With WHO, WHOM, WHICH, THAT, WHOSE

Ex:

The board was composed of citizens whose dedication was


evident.
The student who sits next to me is from China.
The student that sits next to me is from China.
Its a story which every child will enjoy.

Practice 1
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Ive / think / questions / you /ask me / last week.

2.

I want / speak / person / deals with / my account.

3.

student / sit / next / me / China

5.

I / know / boy / bicycle / stolen.

4.

Dr Doran / secretary / resign / two weeks ago / have / had / do all /


own typing

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2. With WHERE, WHEN


Ex:

The building where he lives is very old.


Ill never forget the day when I met you.
1960 is the year when the revolution took place.

Practice 2
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

I / work / full-time / days / I / not / have classes

2.

She / never / return / city / she / born

3.

He / not be / looking forward / time / he / have / give evidence / court

5.

lives / thousands of German / change / the night / East German


soldiers / begin / build / the Berlin Wall

4.

beach / be / place / I / like most / be / summer

B. Adverb Clauses
1. Adverb Clause of Time
CLAUSE +

when, until, while, before, after,


as soon as, just as, since, whenever

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+ CLAUSE

Sentence Building

Ex:

My children had gone to bed when I came home.


I wont believe you until Ive seen it for myself.

Practice 3

Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete


sentences.
1.

Our friends / wait / us / until / we / get back

2.

Our eating habits / change / as soon as / food processing methods /


improve

3.

I / review / class notes / before / I took / final exam

5.

When / students / other countries / come / the United States / often /


suffer / culture shock

4.

Robert / suddenly / feel / ill / while / he / do / examination

2. Adverb Clause of Place


CLAUSE +
Ex:

where
wherever

We go fishing where we can find a lake.


He slept wherever he could find a hotel

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CLAUSE

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Practice 4
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Garlic / grow / wherever / there / be / warm climate

2.

Most people / prefer / shop / where / can / sure / quality

3.

Wherever / you / go / I / be / right here / wait / you

5.

There are / few / places / business / Viet Nam / where / credit card /
accept

4.

I / sitting / where / I / watch / athletes

3. Adverb Clause of Condition

Type I: FIRST CONDITIONAL


If + Subject + Simple Present tense+

Ex:

Will
can
May

+ [Verb in simple form]

If I have money, I will buy a new car.


If I see him at the meeting, Ill give him your message.

Note: UNLESS = IF ... NOT


Ex:

It you don't come now, I am going to leave without you.


= Unless you come now, Im going to leave without you

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Sentence Building

Practice 5
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

If / we / miss / last bus / we/ have / walk / home

2.

I cant help you / unless / tell me / what / wrong


3.

I / only / stay / if / you / offer / me / more / money


4.

If it / necessary / I / come / here/ 6:00


5.

Unless / it / rain / within / next week / water supplies / be / cut off

Type II: SECOND CONDITIONAL


If + Subject + Simple Past tense+

Ex:

would
could
might

+ [Verb in simple form]

If we caught the early train, wed get there by lunch.


If I were to win the lottery, Id buy another house.

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Practice 6
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

If I / offer / job / I / take it


2.

If someone / walk / in here / gun / I / very frightened

3.

What / you / do / if / win / a million pounds?

4.

Tom / angry / if / I / not visit / him

5.

More tourists / come / this country / if it / have / better climate

Type III: THIRD CONDITIONAL


would
If + Subject + Past Perfect tense + could have + [Verb in past participle]
might

Ex:

If we had known that you were there, we would have written you a
letter.
If she had worked harder, she would have passed the exams.

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Practice 7
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

If I / see/ you / yesterday / I / take you / to / cinema

2.

If I / go / party / last night / I / see / Ann

3.

Tom got / station / in time /. If he / miss / train / he / be / late / his


interview

5.

I / send you / postcard / while / I was / holiday / if I / have / your


address

4.

If I had / realize / what / bad driver / you / be / I / not / come / you

4. Adverb Clause of Manner


CLAUSE +
Ex:

as though,
as if, as

CLAUSE

He acts as if he were very sad.


The house was in such a mess - it looked as though a bomb had
dropped on it.

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Sentence Building

Practice 8
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Jack smile / as though / enjoying / private joke

2.

When I / tell them / my plan / they / look / me / as if / I / mad

3.

Kate / speak / as though / she / be / an authority / on / subject

5.

I / not / a child / but / sometimes / you / talk / me / as if / I / a child

4.

Though / player / fail / score / himself / he / help / teammate / score /


two goals

5. Adverb Clause of Comparison

CLAUSE +

Ex:

as.as,
-er.than,
more.than

CLAUSE

The climate is not as bad as it would be.


Is the world a safer place than it was a year ago?

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Sentence Building

Practice 9
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Storm / be / violent / than / we / expect

2.

Pat / jog / on / beach / as / far / she / can

3.

The examination / be / easy / than / we / expect

5.

Many people / want / move / as / far / they / can / polluted / cities

4.

you / know / laser / burn / billions / times / brightly / than / light /


sun / surface?

6. Adverb Clause of Reason


CLAUSE +
Ex:

since, as, because

CLAUSE

I couldnt phone you because I hadnt got your number.


You should talk to Karen since shes the one responsible for
authorizing payments.

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Sentence Building

Practice 10
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Since / Barbara / be / no longer / my wife / Im / no longer /


responsible / her debts

2.

As / they / live / near / we / see / quite often

3.

We / chose / Calvert / lead / us / as / he / say / he / know / way

5.

European nations / try / reduce / level / carbon dioxide / atmosphere /


because / it / cause / global warming

4.

Since / all / cake / look / good / she / not / decide / which / choose

7. Adverb Clause of Result

CLAUSE +

Ex:

so + adj. (adv.) + that


such (a/an) + noun +
that

CLAUSE

New textbooks are so expensive that many students buy used ones.
He speaks to me in such a way that I always feel he is insulting me.

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Sentence Building

Practice 11
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

We have / such / hard homework / I always / need / help

2.

Last night / I / tired / go to bed / 7 o'clock

3.

The book / good / I / couldn't / put it down

5.

It / lovely weather / we / spend / whole day / garden

4.

He / commit / serious / crime / that / he / to stay / prison / life

8. Adverb Clause of Purpose


CLAUSE +
Ex:

so that, in order that

+ CLAUSE

We planned for a long time so that we had a good trip.


Regular checks are required in order that safety standards are
maintained.

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Practice 12
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

He / stand / shadow / so that / I / not see / his face clearly

2.

Chemicals / use / food / products / so that / stay / fresh / longer

3.

He / left / early / order that / he / will / arrive / on time

5.

Most farmers / use / fertilizers / in order that / increase / food crops

4.

you / give up / job / so that / you / take care / your mother?

9. Adverb Clause of Concession


CLAUSE +

Ex:

though, although,
even though

CLAUSE

He bought the tickets although the price was high.


Even though I have a masters degree in business administration, I
cant fill out my tax form.

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Sentence Building

Practice 13
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Although / he / have get / good job / now / he still / complain

2.

I really / enjoyed / your lecture / though / there / be / some parts / I /


not quite understand

3.

Although scientists / know / why / earthquakes / happen / they / not


able / predict them

5.

She / very popular / author / although / personally / I find / her


books / rather boring

4.

Even though / much / power / trade union / have / be / lose / their


political influence / not be / underestimate

C. Noun clauses
1.
Ex:

NOUN CLAUSE + VERB + COMPLEMENT


That he will succeed is certain.
What I need is a good long holiday.

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Practice 14
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

What / you / do / seem / very difficult

2.

What / annoy / me / way / he / boast / what / he / done

3.

How I / spend / free time / be / private matter

5.

Where / temple / once / stand / there / be / now / multi-storey / car


park.

4.

When / next earthquake / occur / California / be / unknown

2.

Ex:

SUBJECT + VERB + NOUN CLAUSE

He said (that) he was glad of your success.


Experts agree that women learn languages more easily than men

(do).

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Practice 15
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Louis / be / only person / understand / how / system work

2.

We / suddenly / realized / what / happen

3.

I / never / forget / when / we / use / stay here / holiday

3.
Ex:

I / not know / where / Jack / taking / me for / anniversary

5.

My proudest moment / be / when / I / received / poetry prize

4.

SUBJECT + VERB + ADJECTIVE + NOUN CLAUSE


I was sure that I had left my keys on the counter.
It is necessary that all citizens comply with the new restrictions.

Practice 16
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

It was / very clear / something / worrying / him

2.

The board / doubtful / whether / her estimates / be / realistic

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3.

It / true / car / cost / a lot / but it / good investment

4.

It / seem / likely / interest rates / increase

5.

It / essential / every child / have / same / education opportunities.

IV. SEQUENCES OF TENSES


A. Main verb in the Simple Present
If the main clause is

then the dependent clause can be

Simple Present

(1) Present Progressive


(2) will, can, or may + verb
(3) Simple Past
(4) Present Perfect

Ex:

(1) I see that Harriet is writing her composition.


Do you know who is riding the bicycle?
(2) He says that he will look for a job next week.
I know that she is going to win that prize.
Mary says that she can play the piano.
(3) I hope he arrived safely.
They think he was here last night.
(4) He tells us that he has been to the mountains before.
We know that you have spoken with Mike about the party.

Practice 1

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Sentence Building

Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete


sentences.
1.

He / never / go / home / before he / finish / work.

2.

I / want / speak / person / who / dealt / my account / last night.

3.

I / know / certain / they / think / you / at the moment

5.

Astronomers / predict / sun / die / about ten billion / year.

4.

She / say / she / go / see / her father / tomorrow

B. Main verb in the simple past


If the main clause is

then the dependent clause can be

Simple Past

(1) Past Progressive or Simple Past


(2) would, could, or might + verb
(3) Past Perfect

Ex:

(1) I gave the package to my sister when she visited us last week.
Mike visited the Prado Art Museum while he was studying in

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Sentence Building

Madrid.
(2) He said that he would look for a job next week.
Mary said that she could play piano.
(3) I hoped he had arrived safely.
They thought he had been here last night.
Practice 2
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Though we / have / very difficult examination / last night, / I / do /


very well

2.

Three hundred guests / attend / the meeting yesterday / because they /


receive / invitation

3.

He / lose / control / car while he / drive

5.

We / hoped / they / will / able / attend

4.

She / become / famous / when / she / appear / TV programme

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Sentence Building

V. GERUNDS AND INFINITIVES


1. Verbs that are always followed by the infinitive
agree
expect
need
seem

Ex:

attempt
fail
offer
tend

claim
hesitate
plan
want

decide
hope
prepare
wish

demand
intend
pretend

desire
learn
refuse

I decided to write a research essay.


I work hard and I think I deserve to be well paid.
Peter wished hed never promised to help them.

Practice 1
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Mary / learn / swim / when / she / very young

2.

The book / attempt / explain / origins / war

3.

They / fail / come / practical solutions

5.

company / naturally / desire / avoid / negative publicity

4.

Although it / be / hard / first / she / come / enjoy working / airline

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Sentence Building

2. Verbs that are always followed by the gerund


admit
deny
postpone
suggest
Ex:

appreciate
enjoy
practice

avoid
finish
quit

can't help
imagine
report

consider
mind
resist

delay
miss
risk

She enjoys running for competition.


Where possible, we have avoided using technical terms.
I appreciated hearing from them.
I can't help worrying about it

Practice 2
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

We / delayed / get / board / as long / we / can

..
2.

you / think / I / risk / send / him / letter?

..
3.

Imagine / go out / dress / like / that!

..
4.

Davis / admit / cause / death / careless / driving

..
5.

He admit / be / town / midnight

..

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3. Verbs + preposition followed by the gerund

approve of
rely on
Ex:

count on depend on
give up insist on
succeed in look forward to object to

keep on

I object to paying so much for milk.


His wife finally persuaded him to give up smoking.

Practice 3
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

They / be / try / please / us / but / just / succeed / offend / everyone

2.

Simpson / confessed / take / money

3.

..

My sister / keep on / ask / me / question after question / last night

5.

..

I / really / looking forward to / work / with / you

4.

..

..

She / apologize / borrow/ my sewing-machine / without / ask /


permission

..
..

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4. Adjectives + preposition followed by the gerund


accustomed to
interested in
Ex:

afraid of
successful in

capable of
tired of

fond of

intent on

I was afraid of losing my way.

Practice 4
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

He / become / accustomed to / live / without / electricity / and /


miss / very little

2.

She / getting / tired / go / that office / every day

3.

..

If you / be / interested / help /, just turn up / Saturday

5.

..

She / seem / intent on / make / me / miserable

4.

..
..

..

port / capable / handle / 10 million / ton/ coal / year

..

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5. Adjectives followed by the infinitive


anxious
pleased
common
Ex:

easy
strange
able

hard
dangerous

ready
prepared

boring
usual

good
difficult

Shes upstairs getting ready to go out.


Im not prepared to listen to excuses.

Practice 5
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

We / anxious / hear / anyone / can / help

2.

Id / pleased / answer / questions / you / have / the plan

3.

It / dangerous / walk around / here / your own / night

5.

It / usual / ask permission / before / borrow / equipment

4.

Her behaviour / became / increasingly / difficult / understand

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6. Verb + Noun/Pronoun followed by the infinitive


advise

convince

force

order

teach

allow

hire

permit

tell

ask

instruct

want

cause

expect

invite

remind

warn

need

require
Ex:

I taught him to swim.


They did not permit us to enter the area during the investigation.
They tried to convince him to buy a cheaper car.
My uncle is going to teach me to drive this summer.

Practice 6
Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete
sentences.
1.

Police / warning / all women / area / be / guard

2.

Despite / pain / she / force / herself / get out / bed

3.

He / instructed / his men / collect / information / troop movements

5.

judge / order / Hill / serve / five years / prison / robbery

4.

agreement / require / all parties / renounce / the use / violence

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7. Gerund or Infinitive
Here are verbs that can take either a gerund or infinitive. However,
some of them can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive with a
difference in meaning.
begin

can't stand

remember*

forget*

start

stop*

dread

prefer*

hate

try*

continue

like*

regret

love

intend

Ex1:

He began shouting abuse at them.


Suddenly the rain began to fall.

Ex2:
PREFER
I prefer walking to riding. (In general)
Let's take a bus. No, I prefer to walk. (On a particular occasion )
LIKE
I like eating apples. (In general)
I'd like to eat an apple now. (At the moment)
STOP
He stopped talking. (He didn't talk any more.)
He stopped to talk. (He stopped doing something in order to talk.)
REMEMBER
Remember to come tomorrow. (Future action)
I remember hearing this song before. (Past event)

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FORGET
He forgot to write a letter to me. (He didn't remember.)
I shall never forget seeing the zoo for the first time.
(Forget: no longer have the memory of)
TRY
He'll try to meet us at 4 o'clock. (try: make an attempt)
Try cleaning it with petrol. (try: make an experiment of)
Practice 7

Use the following sets of words and phrases to write complete


sentences.
1.

She start / dread / see / him

2.

He / had fully / intend / tell / her / exactly / what / happen

3.

not / forget / lock / door / when / leave

5.

it / stop / rain / yet?

4.

Pass / kitchen / he / stop / drink / large glass / water

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