Parts of a Sentence

Parts of a Sentence

The parts of the sentence refers to the terminology for different pieces of sentences. The parts of sentences are not the same as parts of speech. For example, one sentence part is the subject. The subject of a sentence could be a noun, a pronoun, or even another sentence.


[simple subject] Tom ate his dinner at nine last night. (Simple subject=”Tom”)
[clause as subject] That Tom ate his dinner at nine was surprising. (Clause as subject=”That Tom ate his dinner at nine”)

The parts of sentences are important to learn, as they help you in understanding how the pieces fit together in your writing to create effective, even powerful sentences.
The two key parts to a sentence are the subject and predicate. The subject is what (or whom) the sentence is about, and the predicate says something about the subject.
Other important parts of a sentence are clauses and phrases.

A phrase is a group of words that may have nouns or verbs, but there is no subject doing anything.
A clause is a group of words that has a subject that is doing something. If the clause can stand by itself, and form a complete sentence, it is an independent clause.
Dependent clauses have a subject that does something, but they have a subordinate conjunction at the beginning of the clause. That subordinate conjunction means that the clause can’t stand by itself as a complete sentence. In other words, the dependent clause is dependent upon another clause–it can’t make a complete sentence by itself.

Some examples will make this clearer:


leaving the grocery store
walking into a building
before the first of the month
after class
between a rock and a hard place
broken in two
because of her bravery


since he laughs at bad jokes [dependent; begins with subordinate conjunction ‘since’]
I like generous people [independent]
His mother is a successful writer [independent]
because she finished her assignment [dependent; begins with subordinate conjunction ‘because’]
when the bills are due [dependent; begins with subordinate conjunction ‘when’]