Part C: The Sentence Expanded
We now enter into a discussion of the more complex
sentences. At this point in the grammar, description of
the language becomes much more difficult, largely because
of the many possible ways of saying the same thing. The
verb, although complex, is a limited structure. The form
of any given verbal expression can be predicted with reasonable
accuracy. With the sentence this is not so. Complex ideas
can be expressed many ways, depending on the personality
of the speaker, his mood at the moment of speaking, the
dialect area he represents, the generation to which he belongs,
his general linguistic ability, and whether or not he is
telling a story or just being conversational. Therefore
the most that can be done here is to explain some of the
ways of expressing ideas through the use of the sentence.
In the first part of the grammar we discussed the way simple
sentences are constructed. Here we noticed certain primary
elements such as subjects (consisting of a noun and possible
modifiers), an object (also consisting of a noun and possible
modifiers), and a predicate (consis-ting of a verb, verbal
noun or verbal adjective, and possible modifiers). The modifiers
of a noun are called demonstratives, numerals, and adjectives.
The modifiers of the verb, verbal noun or verbal adjective
are the negative, interrogative, future and other qualifying
words. With the three primary elements of subject, object,
and verb usually occurring in the order listed, there are
a number of secondary elements that need to be mentioned.
To list these secondary elements according to their order
is difficult, as different styles seem to require different
orders. The order used in telling a story may be quite different
from the one used in conversation.