Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seeing Sentence Patterns

To continue exploring the links between grammar and reading, I'm putting together a challenge this week. In CC, we do a lot of memory work, and it's fun to test how much you are learning along with your students. So often, too, we read without noticing the grammar on which the books we read are built.

Next week, one of my posts will contain all seven basic sentence patterns that we study in Essentials. See if you can identify examples of all seven!

Of course, before we practice identifying and processing ideas in other contexts (dialectic), it's important to review what those big ideas are (grammar). So, here are the seven* simple sentence patterns (declarative purpose) that we work on in Essentials, with samples taken from the book of John:

1. S-Vi (subject + intransitive verb)
Example: Jesus wept.
Sample: "The light shines in the darkness" (1:5).

2. S-Vt-DO (subject + transitive verb + direct object)
Example: Jesus loves me.
Sample: "...and the darkness has not overcome it" (1:5).

3. S-Vl-PN (subject + linking verb + predicate nominative)
Example: Jesus is God.
Sample: "...and the Word was God" (1:1).

4. S-Vl-PA (subject + linking verb + predicate adjective)
Example: Jesus is holy.
Sample: "And the Word became flesh" (1:14).

5. S-Vt-IO-DO (subject + transitive verb + indirect object + direct object)
Example: Jesus made me a crown.
Sample: "The woman said to him, 'Sir,[you] give me this water'"(4:15).

6. S-Vt-DO-OCN (subject + transitive verb + direct object + object complement noun)
Example: Jesus made me a saint.
Sample: "...he was even calling God his own Father"(5:18).

7. S-Vt-DO-OCA (subject + transitive verb + direct object + object complement adjective)
Example: Jesus made me holy.
Sample: "...he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God"(5:18).

This week, as you study with your family, make a point of noticing the variety of sentence patterns in what you read. Check back in next week to try your hand at the challenge!


*Some people list only five patterns, because they group 3 and 4 together as S-Vt-SC (subject complement) and 6 and 7 as S-Vt-DO-OC (object complement).

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