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

Hello naaka,

The possessive form of nouns ending in s is to put the apostrophe after the s. Therefore others'  conversations is the correct form here and means 'the conversations of others'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! I have a doubt regarding the structure of sentences
Can a sentence have two tenses? I have heard that the sentence must follow only one tense till the end.
Can I say "I think he lost the match"? think is present and lost is in past
If the above sentence is correct,
then can I say "I think he would come from the city"? instead of "I think he will come from the city"
think and would are of different tenses I'm so confused about this structure. Please help. Thank you sir.

Hello wisefool,

Yes, you can certainly use more than one tense in the same sentence. Both 'will' and 'would' are possible after 'I think', but I'm afraid it's difficult to give you advice on the two sentences you ask about without knowing the context and what you want to say. Our will or would page might help you, or, if you explain it a bit more for us, then we should be able to help you.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi! For instance, I want to write the story of Abraham Lincoln. Should I write the entire story in past tense because he lived in the past? The entire paragraphs and sentences should be in the past. Can I use the present tense in the paragraph about how his story impacts people living now? My question is how can I balance the structure of sentences.? Please help sir, Thank you.

Hi wisefool,

It's very hard to comment in general terms about something like this, but we would use past forms (the 'narrative tenses': past simple, past continuous, past perfect simple and past perfect continuous) to talk about things which are completed (the story of Lincoln's life, for example), present forms (present simple and continuous) to talk about things that are true today (people's opinions of Lincoln today, for example) and present perfect to talk about things that began in the past and are still continuing in the present (the continuing history and culture of the USA, for example).

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. I have a sentence:
Frank has helped the FBI capture some of the most elusive check forgers and
counterfeiters of the world, and is considered one of the foremost authorities
of the world on bank and forgery.

Why there is a comma after ''world''? I suppose that we are losing the subject, who is considered...

Thank you.

Hello MCWSL,

The comma here is optional but is often used to signify a break in the flow of the sentence. You can omit the comma if you wish, but I think the sentence reads better with it.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello teacher :

the infinitive & gerund is a types of non finite subordinate clause
that means It can be dropped
but how it come if they act as the subject of sentence like this sentences
( Running is good for heart)
(to accomplished such a task is amazing)
if we drop subordinate clauses (Running ) & (to accomplished ) where is the main clause that can stand alone and make sense without them

Hello nkmg,

Infinitive and gerund phrases are forms of non-finite clause, which are usually subordinate clauses as you say. However, they cannot be removed from the sentence when they are fulfilling a grammatically necessary task such as being the subject of the sentence, as in your examples. You need to look not only at the kind of clause but also at the function it is performing in the sentence.

You can find more on the use of non-finite clauses as subjects on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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