English is a complex language, whether you’re learning as a second language speaker or are native to the language. Understanding the basic English sentence structure rules will enhance your blog posts, social media posts, and any copywriting.
What makes a sentence? How do you write for the reader? Where can you write better?
The Basic English Sentence Structure Rules in Plain Language for Bloggers
The basic sentence structure includes the subject, predicate, direct object, indirect object, and the subject complement.
Say what? Have no fear. I get this stuff is not exactly thrilling to read about. Let’s simplify this a bit, yeah?
Subject = Topic
The subject, a noun or pronoun, is the person, place, or thing that is performing the action, a verb, of the sentence. It’s the topic of the sentence that does something.
The subject is what the sentence is about, like a topic, an idea, the headline of a blog post, or the point of my 7-year-old daughter’s ramble.
Subjects may include modifying words, phrases, or clauses. So it may not be a single word in a particular sentence. For example: The blogger…
Predicate = Action
The predicate expresses action or state of being, also called a verb, within the sentence. Active voice is an action movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Not everyone loves action movies though. (Read about keeping passive voice here.)
A predicate may include modifying words, phrases, or clauses, like, “The blogger worked late.”
The subject and predicate can be combined to make a complete sentence. It’s the short-and-sweet sentence. It can pack a powerful punch when used correctly. It’s the shortest, sucker-punch Bible verse.
The other elements provide additional meaning or detail: the direct object, indirect object, and subject complement. These elements expand and combine like kitchen spices to create different styles of sentences.
Direct Object = Reciever
The direct object receives the action of the sentence. Imagine a football game with me. The direct object receives the predicate ball from the subject quarterback.
It’s usually a noun or pronoun. For example: The blogger worked late on the blog post.
Indirect Object = Babies
The indirect object indicates to whom or for whom the action of the sentence is being done. These are the needy babies that need everything done to or for them to survive. Fortunately—or maybe, unfortunately, if you’re trying to finish that darn blog post tonight—indirect objects don’t keep you awake at night.
It’s usually a noun or pronoun, “The blogger hired a content writer for her business.”
Subject Complement = Mirror
A subject complement renames or describes the subject. That’s right it reflects the subject like a mirror.
Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…
It’s usually a noun, pronoun, or adjective. Subject complements occur when there’s a linking verb (often a form of to be) within the sentence. For example: The blogger is busy. The blogger is an entrepreneur.
Sentence Structure Rule Summary
Don’t make sentences complicated. When in doubt, read your sentence out loud. Does it sound natural?
Look for a subject (the topic) and a predicate (the action) in a sentence. If both are present in your sentence, you’ve successfully written according to the English sentence structure rules.
Too complicated writing your own blog posts? Just don’t have time to get it done? Learn how to make blog post creation much easier.