The basic unit of English grammar is the clause:

[An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000]

[when he left it in the waiting room of a London station.]

[William Brown inherited the 1698 Stradivarius violin from his mother]

[and had just had it valued by a London dealer at £180,000.]

Clauses are made up of phrases:

[An unlucky student] + [almost lost] + [a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000]

[when] + [he] + [left] + [it] + [in the waiting room of a London station.]

[William Brown] + [inherited] + [the 1698 Stradivarius violin] + [from his mother]

[and] [had just had it valued] + [by a London dealer] + [at £180,000.]

We can join two or more clauses together to make sentences.

An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000 when he left it in the waiting room of a London station.

William Brown inherited the 1698 Stradivarius violin from his mother and had just had it valued by a London dealer at £180,000.


 

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Comments

HI. I'm a little bit confused about the grammar in this sentence: he slid them on, scraping dirt off the lenses.
Why does it use scraping when before it's a past tense "slid"? I thought we used the same kind of words in one sentence
Thank you for reading

Hello Alice 193,

'...scraping dirt off...' here is a participle phrase (also called a participle clause). The participle here is a verb form which has the same time reference as the main verb, so if the main verb has a past time meaning then the participle also refers to the past.

You can learn more about participle clauses here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

I need some help. Could someone help me to identify what type of sentence these are:

1. I felt something alive moving on my back.
And: I could see nothing except my own shadow. Are these simple or complex sentences and why?

2. If I use an adverbial phrase (not clause) together with a simple sentence, eg. The night before, I called my mother. Does it remain a simple sentence or becomes a complex?
I know that an adverbial clause would make it complex. but what about adverbial phrase?

Hello Dalia,

Have you seen our sentence structure page? It explains how simple and complex sentences are formed and should help you, but if you have any questions after reading it, please feel free to ask us there.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

yes, i have read it but i still have these questions.

THank you!

Hello DaliaGarcia,

As far as I know, all of those sentences would be still be considered simple sentences, since, as you point out, none of them have a dependent clause but rather participial or adverbial phrases. You might want to refer to the Wikipedia page on Sentence clause structure for more details.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

'It has not been talk alone but has been walking the talk.'
Could you please explain is this sentence grammatically correct or not.

Thank you.

Hello naaka,

This is an idiomatic expression. 'Talk alone' means just saying things; 'walking the talk' means doing something as well as just talking about it. In other words, the sentence means that the person has not just been talking about something but has also done it - their actions have backed up their words.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

Thank you for your reply. But I'm still confused of that sentence because of ' talk alone'. According to my grammar knowledge it should be ' talking alone'. Could you please explain me then what happen to that rule when they use "talk alone'.

Thank you.

Hello naaka,

We can use 'alone' to describe a noun or a gerund and it always follows the word. Here 'talk' looks like a verb but is actually a noun with a similar meaning to 'speech' or 'words'. We could say 'not speech alone' or 'not words alone', for example.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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