Sentence Structure: The Basics

Sentence Structure: The Basics

Sentence structure is both a necessary component of writing, as well as a creative tool that enables you to express yourself.

To become an advanced English writer, one must understand the basics of how to structure sentences, as well as the best ways in which to do so. This allows the writer to convey messages that best suit their target audience.

This short blog will provide you with some of the basics that you need to master sentence structure.


Word Order and Components

Sentences include a subject and a verb, and they may (or may not) also include an object (i.e. the person or thing that is being affected by the verb).

Typically, the subject will be a noun (a thing, a person, or a place) and the verb will usually be placed in the sentence after the noun, indicating that an action has taken place, or that the status of the being, the thing, or the person has changed in some manner.


Appositives are a type of noun or noun phrase that is a common component within sentences and literature. Appositives typically describe the subject or noun that they follow.

Absolute Phrases

Absolute phrases are commonly used as a literary device in literature. They refer to a group of words that add further detail or information to an existing main clause.

For example:

  • ‘‘David jogged to work, his pain-stricken legs dragging against the floor, and eventually made it on time’’.

In this example, the phrase in italics is the absolute phrase, which provides further insight and information about the character, which without, would not have accurately conveyed the character’s struggle.


Just as a text should include a narrative or clear structure that enables the reader to follow and understand where the subject is going, a sentence should do the same.

Therefore, a commonality within sentences is to include “coordinating conjunctions” such as ‘but’ or ‘and’ which help to guide the sentence or break it up, if other points need to be addressed.

Sentence Modifiers – Adverbs and Adjectives

Quite simply, a sentence modifier (also occasionally known as qualifiers) may refer to a phrase, a word, or a clause that can help to further clarify a point, to describe something in greater detail, or simply place more emphasis on what you are attempting to explain.

Modifiers can appear in either a ‘single-word’ or ‘multi-word’ form. Adverbs and adjectives are a type of modifiers that can greatly improve your sentence.

For instance, by adding the adjective ‘excessively’ to the following sentence, we are able to stress the obsessive nature of the person carrying out the task:

  • Example 1 (without adjective): ‘‘Tom organised his desk, in preparation for his morning meeting’’.
  • Example 2 (with adjective): ‘‘Tom excessively organised his desk, in preparation for his morning meeting’’.

Let the experts help

If you’re aiming to improve your writing abilities, make sure to consider B&20 British School as your first option when seeking English online language classes in London, so that you can become the English writer you’ve always aspired to become.