Exercises for expressions in the required sentence structures:
0 主席道出了与会者的心声。 ，SVO； VOICE！ 1 这条小路在何处与大路相交，，SVO；JOIN！ 2 春天不久会再来。 ，SV；RETURN！
3 老太太今天着红装。 ，SVC； DRESS！
4 让上帝使他灵魂安宁。 ，SVO； REST！
5 两对以5比5打成平手。 ，SV； DRAW！ 6 她把吵吵嚷嚷的孩子留给我们看管。 ，SVOC； PLANT！ 7 他的秘密致死不为人知。 ，SV； DIE！
8 他的一言一行表明他是个军人。 ，SVOC； STAMP！ 9 酸腐蚀了金属。 ，SVC； EAT！
10 搬动家具常使我腰酸背痛。 ，SVoO； GIVE！ 11 记者们没有从他那里套出任何消息。 ，SVO； MILK！ 12 他对她无恶意。 ，SVoO；MEAN！
13 群山环抱幽谷。 ，SVC； SWEEP！
14 一阵恐惧袭上心头。 ，SVC； SWEEP！
15 在阳光下波浪起伏不定。 ，SV； DANCE！
The chairman voiced the feeling of the meeting.
Where does the path join the road?
Spring will soon return.
The old lady was dressed in red today. May God rest his soul.
The two teams drew, 5 points to 5 points. She planted her noisy children on us. His secret died with him.
His manner stamped him as a soldier. The acid has eaten into the metal.
Moving the furniture gave me pain in the back. The journalists milked nothing from him. He means her no harm.
The hills sweep round the hidden valley. Fear swept over him.
The waves dance in the sunlight.
Basic Sentence Patterns &Commonly-Used Sentence Patterns
As the communicative linguists hold, communication involves a complicated process for it is made up of at least four layers: concept formation, information reality, modality，form！ and
meaning in connected discourse. Structurally considered, the corresponding linguistic units are: noun phrase, sentence, utterance (combination of sentences) and discourse (combination of utterances). It is understood that the sentence is a central unit to realize information. Writing is a communication process in written form and therefore, sentence-making is of great importance in composition.
Grammatically considered, an English sentence is a sequence of words capable of standing alone to make an assertion, ask or give a command, usually consisting of a subject and predicate verb containing a finite verb. As mentioned in the introduction, a sentence is made up of one or more than one clauses. The clause, particularly the independent clause, is in many ways a more clearly-defined unit than the sentence. It is for this reason that we may concentrate on the simple sentence (i.e. the sentence consisting of a single independent clause. Any language is a system of signs in which sentences can be generated infinitely. However they stem from finite modes called sentence patterns. We may call the simple sentences modes basic sentence patterns. Any
language has its own special sentence structures based on its grammatical rules and usage. And so some sentence structures are usually preferable to others and therefore are commonly used. We called those sentence structures commonly-used sentence patterns. In this chapter the two kinds
of patterns will be discussed.
3.1 Basic Sentence Patterns
As we define a single sentence is actually a single independent clause, we may begin our study of basic sentence patters with the clause structure. To describe the constituency of clauses or single sentences, we need to distinguish the elements of clause structure. As mentioned in the introduction, a clause made up of one or more phrases. In English a sentence may be made by two major phrases: noun phrase and verb phrase. And here arises a general formula:
S(sentence) = Noun phrase + Verb phrase.(NP+VP)
Eg. The beggar fell over a stone
As is known to all, an English sentence centers around a verb phrase and a further study of the verb phrase will show that there are five kinds of verb phrase according to the classification of verbs. The five kinds are: complete intransitive verbs, incomplete intransitive verbs, complete mono-transitive verbs (added on one object), di-transitive verbs (added on two objects) and
incomplete transitive verbs. They are illustrated below:
incomplete……………………………….be L(linking words)
mono- ………………….search T
v. t. di-………………………give D
incomplete…………………………….. cause V or X
For convenience we can establish a letter code stand for each kind of them ( as is shown in the
illustration above). Each kind can make its own verb phrase respectively. Based on the five kinds
of verb phrases we have the five basic sentence patterns in English.
SV Fish swim.
SVC He is a student.
SVO They searched the house.
SVoO He gave me a book.
SVOC They caused me to do it.
( O=object); ( C=complement)
Commonly-Used Sentence Patterns
The discussion above shows five basic sentence patterns stemming from the general formula in making English sentences. We may call those patterns five sub-formulae as shown by their abbreviations. In those formulae we may regard O and C as variables because they may be replaced by several linguistic units. According to the English grammatical rules and usage , we have ten linguistic units (those that can be applied to replace the “O” or “C” in the course of
formation of five basic sentence patterns) and they form the commonly used sentence patterns (SPs) (more than eighteen).
So we can establish another code in which we use number to stand for those linguistic units.
0= naught (nothing)
1= n. or. pro.
2= infinitive without to
3= infinitive with to
4= -ing clause
8= -ed clause
9= prep. phrase
With the letter code matching with the number code according to the grammatical rules and usage
we have the following 18 commonly-used English sentence patterns:
Pattern Code Example
SP1 I0 Fish swim.
SP2 L1-9 He is rich ( a rich man…etc. )
SP3 T1 They searched the house.
SP4 T2 He helped wash the dishes.
SP5 T3 They attempt to climb the mountain.
SP6 T4 I enjoyed reading novels.
SP7 T5 He said that he would come .
SP8 T6 He asked what he should do.
SP9 D1 He gave me a book.
SP10 D5 He informed me that he could come.
SP11 D6 He asked me what he should do.
SP12 V2 I saw the man cross the street.
SP13 V3 He asked me to help him.
SP14 V4 I saw the man crossing the street.
SP15 V8 He had his hair cut.
SP16 X1 They elected him president.
SP17 X7 We painted the door yellow.
SP18 X9 I found him in good health.
Eighteen is not a large number, but it is not easy for a Chinese student to have good command of them, because the commonly-used patterns not only involves the grammatical rules but also the idiomatic expressions. To make our composition accurate and effective we must focus our study on each of them in detail.
I0; SV ( Fish swim.)
In this pattern only two elements (subject + complete intransitive) are enough to make the
sentence complete. It seems easy but many intransitive verbs express implied meaning to a Chinese student. In other words, some English expressions are simple in form but colorful in meaning. Here are some examples and their Chinese equivalents:
This kind of sentence patterns are usually applied in colloquial expression and literary works, since this two have a weaker context than other formal written language.
Usually, this kind of sentence patterns are applied to the narration, prose and literary works in order to leave enough space for the unfinished context.
Every minute counts. ，例句(农民挣个钱不容易！
It doesn’t matter.
My shoes hurt.
Fish can’t keep.
This farm doesn’t pay.
Her eyes spoke.
The clock doesn’t go.
Your idea doesn’t work. ，例句(他的这个办法很有效！
Tom is leading.
L1-9; SVC ( He is rich…etc. )
In this pattern the verb is a linking verb and the subject complement is any unit in the
number code (usually in description, narration, prose, poetry,): L1: She became queen.
L2: He is come tomorrow ( in spoken English only).
L3: He is to come tomorrow.
L4: The game is exciting.
L5: The trouble is that you are penniless.
L6: That is what I want to say.
L7: She became famous.
L8: He is gone.
L9: Their success is out of question.
In English the linking verb is not just ―be‖. They are a lot of linking verbs and they may be
divided into the following groups:
G1 Be-type : be, feel, make, seem, smell, taste, sound, strike, wear, etc. G2 Keep-type: keep, remain, etc.
G3 Become-type: become, break, burn, come, fall, go, grow, prove, run, turn, etc. G4 Measure-type: come, cost, fall, go, last, live, march, measure, ride, travel, wait, work,
Here are some examples that may not be familiar to a Chinese student: The room strikes wet and cold.
A single flower does not make spring.
Fish can’t keep fresh.
It remains to be seen.
His jokes fell flat.
The potatoes burnt black.
It weighs ten pounds.
The box measures one meter in length, one meter in width and one meter in height.
The lacquer box, 59.8 cm in height, 37 cm in width and 21.2 cm in height, had five small partitions inside. Close to one side of the box is a narrow through partition, in which are placed the book on silk Drawing of Daoyin (The
Physical Exercise Chart) and the book on silk Lao Zi (Version A) wrapped
around one wooden slip 2 or 3 centimeters wide, upon which again are placed two rolls of bamboo slips with inscriptions about medicine
Some points of special usage of this pattern should be understood by a Chinese student:
The linking verbs in Group 4，the measure type！ should be followed only by a noun. And the
three linking verbs ―cost‖, ―last‖, and ―take‖ may be used in the sentence pattern D1 i. e :
The book costs ten dollars. 这本书值十美元。
The book cost me ten dollars. 这本书花去我十美元。
The food will last a month. 这些食物足够吃一个月。
The food will last them a month. 这些食物足够他们吃一个月。
It will take eight hours to finish the task. 完成这项任务需要八小时。
It will take us eight hours to finish the task. 我们完成这项任务需要八小时。
The verb ―go‖ + -ing forms a special sentence pattern, e. g.
Tomorrow we’ll go shopping.
They will go camping.
Once a week he goes fishing.
In summer we always go swimming.
T1; SVOn (pro) (We study English / it.)
This is the most commonly-used sentence pattern in English. It is used so commonly that
many fixed expressions are formed when the basic transitive verbs govern the object, e.g.
make an answer. 回答
make one’s appearance. 露面
make a beginning 开始
make a change 产生变化
make a face 板着脸
make hay 把握时机
make money 赚钱
make trouble 捣乱
do one’s best 尽力而为
do good 有益
do the spadework 打基础
do wonders 创奇迹
take the air 散步
take the back seat 退下来
take a chance 碰运气
take effect 生效
take place 发生
take root 扎根
Besides, another two points are of special importance to a Chinese student.
Note 1 When the object is a reflexive，反身代词！, the meaning is connotative, e. g.
He cut himself.
He hug himself.
He pretended to American, but betrayed himself when speaking.
Note 2 Some intransitive verbs govern a noun of the same stem called ―cognate‖，同源词！, and so
they become transitive, e.g.
She laughed a merry laugh. 她笑得真开心。
She smiled her thanks. 她微笑以表示感谢。
T2; SVO-do ( He helped clean the window.)
This pattern is often used in the American English. At present, only a few verbs may be used in this pattern. They are: hear, help, leave, let, make, etc.
We helped wash the dishes. 我们帮助洗碟子。
Hold it and don’t let go. 握紧，别松手。
The children are making believe that they are princes and princesses.
T3; SVO-to do ( I want to work.)
In this pattern the object is an infinitive denoting an action or state that is to occur in the future. A lot of transitive verbs may be used in this patter, especially those that express a hope, a plan, a desire, a wish, etc. They are:
afford, agree, apply, arrange, ask, attempt, begin, cease, choose, claim, continue, commence, dare, decide, decline, desire, determine, endeavor, expect, fear, forget, guarantee, hope, intend, learn, like, love, manage, mean, need, offer, pledge, prefer, prepare, pretend, profess, promise, propose, purpose, refuse, regret, resolve, remember, say, seek start, swear, threaten, try, undertake, venture, volunteer, vow, whish, etc.
The advantage of mastering this pattern is the collocation force when these verbs convert into a noun phrase still with the infinitive as a modifier, e.g.
We agreed to differ.
An agreement to differ is better than a noisy quarrel.
She wishes to earn her own living.
She expressed her wish to earn her own living.
He decided to resign.
His decision to resign was welcomed by the opposites.
Some of the verbs may also be used in Pattern T4 but the two patterns are different in meaning, e. g.
I’ll remember to post the letter. 我要记得去寄信。
I remember posting the letter. 我记得信已寄出。
I forgot to remind him of this. 我忘了提醒他了。
I forgot reminding him of this. 我已提醒他了，这件事我倒忘了。
I like swimming, but I don’t like to swim in the pool.
The two sides ceased to fire. 双方暂时停火。
The two sides ceased firing. 双方永久停火。
T4; SVO-ing ( I enjoy reading novels.)
In this pattern the object is an –ing clause and the verbs or verb phrases used in pattern are:
acknowledge, admit, advise, anticipate, appreciate, avoid, bear, can not resist, can not stand, cease, consider, contemplate，凝视, 沉思！, defend, defer，推迟, 延期！, delay, deny, detest，厌恶, 憎
恨！, dislike, enjoy, ensure, escape, evade, excuse, facilitate, fancy, favor, fear, finish, forbid, forget, give up, can not help, imagine, include, keep, keep on, leave off, like, mind, miss, need, postpone, practice, put off, quit, remember, resent, risk, stop, suggest, try, understand.
Some verbs may be used in Patter T3 as is mentioned in the above section. Attention should paid to only two verbs used in this pattern: ―need‖ and ― want‖. Their –ing clauses after these two
verbs are usually passive in meaning, e.g.
My house needs mending.
He wants a good beating.
T5; SVO-that clause (He said that he would leave as soon as possible.)
This pattern is the transformation from a direct statement into an indirect statement and so