The structure of the clause depends on the verb. For example:

  • An intransitive verb has the structure: N(=noun) + V(=verb): (John) + (smiled).
  • A transitive verb has the structure: N + V + N: (We) + (had been playing) + (football)
  • A link verb has the structure: N + V + Adj : (She) + (looked) + (happy)
  • A phrasal verb has the structure: N + V + pa(=particle) + N (She) + (gave) +(back) + (the money)
    or N + V + N + pa (She) + (gave) + (the money) + (back)

Particles can be either adverbs or prepositions. For a more detailed explanation of phrasal verbs, see our two- and three-part word and Multi-word verbs pages.

 Exercise

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Comments

I was reading a grammar book, when I came across a grammar rule I'm confused about. It says 2 conjunctions cannot be in a single sentence, e.g "Though he's old, but he's healthy." Is this true? If so, what about sentences with "but when" "but because" but before or after"

Hello Tim,

I'm afraid we don't comment on rules from other sources. I know of no such rule and can think of many sentences with multiple conjunctions. What you certainly cannot have is a sentence with subsidary clauses which have no reference to a main clause. Either of the clauses in your example could be the main clause, and you could have another subsidiary clause in the sentence with its own conjunction:

He's old but he's healthy, though not so much that he doesn't need to be careful with his diet.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Can different verb forms be used in clauses of a sentence joined by coordinating conjunctions(and, but, so, or...) E.g., "he was sad last year, and he is getting fatter." and "she was healing well last week, but now she caught another flu, and so she's worsened.

Hello Tim,

Yes, there's no reason why two such clauses cannot refer to different times. I'm not sure in what context the first example would make much sense but the second sentence is perfectly fine and neither is grammatically inaccurate.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi guys. I have3 questions as regards subject verb agreement. In a sentence like: " he has three houses that serve as his offices." My first question is : is this sentence grammatically correct. If so, why is the verb "serve" and not "serves" and my third question is: can we have a mix of singular and plural verbs in a single sentence

Hello Timmosky,

Yes, it is grammatically correct. 'houses' is the plural subject of the plural verb 'serve' and yes, there can be a mix -- each verb is singular or plural depending on its subject.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello dear team,
You said
“N + V + N + p (She) + (gave) + (the money) + (back)”
N=noun
V=verb
P=?
“p” abbreviation from what?
Thank you very much

Hello fahri,

Sorry for the confusion! In this case, 'p' was an abbreviation for 'particle', but I've changed the abbreviation to 'pa' to help make this clear. I have also added links to other pages that explain how phrasal verbs work in case you have any questions about them.

Thanks very much for helping us improve this page!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,sir.Please,correct this sentence.
Playing a musical instrument is a great happiness to have.
Can we say to have at the end of the sentence?

Hello Aram1999,

I'm afraid we don't provide a correction service like this. We're happy to provide explanations of the information on our pages and, sometimes, to provide help with other issues. However, we have many thousands of users and cannot provide a checking service of this kind. If we tried then we would end up doing many people's homework and tests for them!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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