Clause, phrase and sentence

 

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.


 

Comments

would you let me? what is causative have? i don't understand? i have the car fixed? one the other hand he is having the pc,s memory improved? pls give some example and how can we use? and which way? my mind isn't clear?

sunita

Hello Sunita,

'Causative have' is a grammatical construction which is formed as follows:

have + object + verb3 (past participle)

We use it in several contexts:

  • to describe a service which we pay for ('He is having his hair cut this afternoon.')
  • to describe something which someone does to us ('The children have their eyes tested every year at school.')
  • to describe instructions, orders or commands ('The Prime Minister will have his assistant telephone to arrange a meeting.')

Notice this last example has a different structure:

have + object + verb (base form)

The verb 'have' can sometimes be replaced with other verbs such as 'get' and 'make'.

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Comparing the sentences below:

1) "After looking at the local tour guide position advertised at the local newspaper, I am writing you to apply to the position"

2) "I am writing you to apply to the local tour guide position advertised at the local newspaper"

what kind of structure is being used in sentence 1?
when do you use the structure in sentence 1?
what structure is more recommended when writing a letter

Please indicate the level of complexity in each phrase...

Thanks

Hello Mayela,

In most situations, and especially in a letter, I would recommend using the second sentence, as it is more succinct. The first might work in a narrative context (i.e. when telling a story), but that doesn't appear what the sentence is being used for.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your reply... The passive voice as used in letters or essays... is it recommended for IELTS writting section instead of the simple phrase? In the first sentence, is it correct to elaborate to : After looking at the local newspaper the tour guide position, I am sending my candidature with pleasure. Do you recommend to write in this form a letter or narration essay instead to all with a subject+verb+rest of the phrase...? Would it give you more points taking the risk in using it?

Thaks

Hello Mayela,

There are times when it's better to use the passive voice, but I'm afraid that goes beyond what we can do for you here at LearnEnglish - for that kind of attention, I'm afraid you'll have to look for advice from a teacher or in a class. But in general, I'd recommend using the active voice when possible.

I'm afraid I don't completely explain your next-to-last question, but I'll repeat that the second sentence in your previous comment was very nicely written - it was great, especially for a letter.

It's good to attempt to use a broad range of grammar, but until you're fairly confident about it, I wouldn't use it if you can use other forms with greater accuracy. Why don't you do an internet search for "sample cover letters" so you can see examples of them?

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
Which question form is correct." What is your full name and address?" or " What are your full name and address?".

Hello afsalrahiman,

The first is the form that is typically found. This may seem a bit odd, as full name and address are two separate things, but here they are conceived of as a unit.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hi,
can u help me in writing for IELTS ...for the 1 section ...like charts, graphs...
i mean how to start and infer from the given data,please
thank you

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