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Kinds of sentences
Sentences are of three kinds – Simple, Complex and Compound. They have been discussed in Class XI. Let us recall the basic structure of the three kinds of sentences:
a) Simple sentence
Look at the following sentences:
i. There is a solution to every problem.
ii. Work with dedication, to achieve success.
iii. The path to success is highly complicated.
iv. A golden key can open any door.
v. In the event of your missing the bus, take a taxi.
vi. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
vii. The Chief Guest arrived in great haste.
❖ Asimple sentence has only one finite verb.
❖ Simple sentences are used to depict universal truths, facts and descriptions.
❖ A simple sentence has just one independent clause – it has only one subject and one predicate.
❖ A simple sentence may have subject complements, object complements, adverbial phrases and non-finite verbs.
Pick out the finite verbs in the following sentences:
a) You can solve this problem in different ways.
b) The professor has been working on the last chapter of the book since March.
c) Despite being a celebrity, Ravi mingles easily with everyone.
d) You must speak clearly to make yourself understood.
e) The chairman being away, the clerk is unable to approve the proposal.
f) Getting down from the car, the Chief Guest walked towards the dais amidst applause.
g) The old man struggled to walk without support.
h) In case of emergency, please contact this number.
i) The sun having set, the temperature fell rapidly.
j) But for your help, I could not have completed the assignment.
Read the following passage and identify the simple sentences.
Sunflowers turn according to the position of the sun. In other words, they ‘ chase the light’. Have you ever wondered what happens on cloudy, rainy days when the sun is completely covered by clouds? If you think the sunflower withers or turns its head towards the ground, you are completely mistaken. Do you know what happens? Sunflowers turn to each other to share their energy. Learning from Nature, we too should support and empower each other.
Answers: 1. Sunflowers turn according to the position of the
sun. 2. In other words, they chase the light. 3. Sunflowers turn to each other to share their
b) Complex sentence
Let us recall the differences between a phrase and a clause and learn to identify Main and Subordinate clauses.
i. A phrase is a group of words without a finite verb in it.
ii. It does not give complete sense.
Examples : my new watch, a barking dog, the wise, the brave etc.
i. A clause is a group of words with a finite verb in it.
ii. It may or may not make complete sense.
Examples : my watch that is new, a dog that is barking, people who are wise, those who are brave
Look at the following sentence:
I have lost the watch that you gave me.
I have lost the watch that you gave me - Main clause (the clause stands on its own)
Subordinate clause (the claus depends on the Main clause for its meaning to be completed)
that - clause marker
The above sentence is an example of a complex sentence.
A complex sentence has one Main clause and one or more Subordinate clauses.
Look at the following complex sentences. Circle the Main clauses and underline the Subordinate clauses.
a) Nobody knows when the power supply will resume.
Nobody knows - Main clause
when the power supply will resume - subordinate
b) Please tell me what the time is.
Please tell me - Main clause
what the time is - subordinate clause
c) The man who directed the film was my schoolmate.
The man was my schoolmate - Main clause
who directed the film - subordinate clause
d) I believe that all men are basically good.
I believe - Main clause
that all men are basically good - subordinate
e) No one knows when he will return.
No one knows - Main clause
when he will return - subordinate clause
Pick out the complex sentences in the following passage.
A man saw a lion in the bush, as he was walking through the forest. He did not know what to do. He was helpless. He was too scared to turn around and run. He just knelt down as if he were getting ready to pray. He closed his eyes, thinking that the lion would pounce on him anytime. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the lion on its knees too. Shocked, he asked the lion what it was doing. The lion replied that he was praying before he started his meal.
1. A man saw a lion in the bush, as he was walking through the forest.
2. He did not know what to do.
3. He just knelt down as if he were getting ready to pray.
4. He closed his eyes, thinking that the lion would pounce on him anytime.
5. Shocked, he asked the lion what it was doing.
6. The lion replied that he was praying before he started his meal.
c) Compound sentence
Look at the following sentence:
Honesty promotes character, and dishonesty destroys it.
Honesty promotes character - Main clause I
dishonesty destroys it - Main clause II
and - conjunction
Two Main clauses connected by a conjunction form a compound sentence.
Identify the two Main clauses and conjunction in each of the following sentences.
a) It started raining suddenly and people ran for shelter.
It started raining suddenly - Main clause
people ran for shelter - Main clause
b) Understand the concept well, otherwise you cannot solve the problem.
Understand the concept well - Main clause
you cannot solve the problem - Main clause
otherwise - conjunction
c) Fifty candidates appeared for the interview, but only five were selected.
Fifty candidates appeared for the interview - Main clause
only five were selected - Main clause
but - conjunction
d) Ramesh did not know Spanish, so he wanted a translator.
Ramesh did not know Spanish - Main clause
he wanted a translator - Main clause
so - conjunction
e) He is a good actor, still he is not popular.
He is a good actor - Main clause
he is not popular - Main clause
still - conjunction
Pick out the compound sentences in the following passage.
The food we eat has to be digested and then thrown out of the body. The air we breathe in, has to be thrown out, to help us survive. But we hold negative emotions like insecurity, anger and jealousy within ourselves for years. If these negative emotions are not eliminated, the mind grows corrupt and diseased. Let us do away with hatred and lead a healthy life filled with peace and joy.
1. The food we eat has to be digested and then
thrown out of the body.
2. Let us do away with hatred and lead a healthy
life filled with peace and joy.
Complete the sentences choosing the right endings.
We were thoroughly disappointed : since our team did not get a prize
Hardly had he stepped out : when it began to rain
They wanted : to find out his address
Since we had run out of petrol : we could not go further
The cause of his injury : was his reckless driving
Let us recall what you have learnt about conditional clauses in Std. 11.
If I play well, I will win the match. (Possible condition)
If it rained, they would cancel the match. (An unlikely or hypothetical condition)
If Saravanan had played well, he would have won the match. (Impossible condition)
Read the following sentences and fill in the blanks.
a) If I were (be) a spider, I would weave (weave) webs.
b) If Raj were (be) a sculptor, he would make (make) beautiful idols.
c) If Mary had an umbrella, she would lend (lend) it to me.
d) Rex would have played with me, if he had had (has) time.
e. If I were you, I would accept (accept) this offer.
f. We will select (select) story books for kids, if we allot time for storytelling.
g. The Education Minister will visit (visit) our school tomorrow, if he goes by this way.
h. You will be rewarded by the wise, if you stand (stand) for truth.
i. If my mother knows (know) of my poor performance in the exam, she will not allow me to watch a movie.
j. If I had won the lottery, I would have donated (donate) relief materials for the flood victims.
Rewrite the following sentences using ‘If ’ without changing the meaning.
Unless you go for a walk regularly, you cannot reduce your weight. (Use ‘If ’) If you do not go for a walk regularly, you cannot reduce your weight.
a) Sindhu would not have won the world championship, unless she had had singleminded devotion.
Sindhu would not have won the world
championship, if she had not had singleminded devotion.
b) You will not reach your goal, unless you chase your dream.
You will not reach your goal, if you do not
chase your dream.
c) Unless we plant more trees, we cannot save our planet.
If we do not plant more trees, we cannot save
d) The rescue team would not have saved the victims unless they had received the call in time.
The rescue team would not have saved the
victims, if they had not received the call in time.
e) The palace cannot be kept clean, unless we appoint more people.
The palace cannot be kept clean, if we do not
appoint more people.
f) The portraits would not have been so natural unless the artist had given his best.
The portraits would not have been so natural, if
the artist had not given his best.
g) The manager would not have selected Nithiksha unless she exhibited good accounting skill.
The manager would not have selected Nithiksha,
if she had not exhibited good accounting skill.
h) The policeman would not have arrested the man unless he had violated the rules.
The policeman would not have arrested the man,
if he had not violated the rules.
i) Mr Kunaal would not sponsor my higher education unless I studied well.
Mr Kunaal would not sponsor my higher education,
if I did not study well.
j) Kavin will not stop flying kites unless he understands the risk involved in it.
Kavin will not stop flying kites, if he does not
understand the risk involved in it.
k) Tanya would not know the answer unless she referred to the answer key.
Tanya would not know the answer, if she did not refer
to the answer key.
l) My village cannot achieve 100 % literacy rate, unless the elders of the village cooperate with the education department.
My village cannot achieve 100 % literacy rate, if the elders of the village do not cooperate with the education department.
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