Secondary Parts of the Sentence

Secondary Parts of the Sentence

Secondary Parts of the Sentence in English express additional information and explain or expand the information conveyed by the subject and predicate, as well as other members of the sentence. These clauses are not necessary to form a sentence, but they help express more detailed information about the action, object, or subject in the sentence.

The most common types of subordinate clauses in English are Object, Attribute, and Adverbial Modifier (Complement). Each of them performs its function in the sentence and has its own peculiarities in formation and use.

Object

Object in English is used to express to whom or what the action of the main predicate is directed to. In most cases, the adverb comes after the main verb. Example:

  • She bought a new car. In this example, “a new car” is the object and “bought” is the main verb.

Types of Objects

There are different types of object in English, including:

  1. Direct Object – indicates who or what is performing the action expressed by the predicate. The direct object usually comes after a predicate and can be a noun or a pronoun.

Examples:

  • She ate an apple
  • They bought a new car
  • He loves his dog
  1. Indirect Object – indicates to whom or why the action expressed by the predicate is addressed. The indirect object usually precedes the direct object and can be a noun or a pronoun.

Examples:

  • She gave her brother a book
  • They sent me a postcard
  • He told us a funny story
  1. Cognate Object – is a special kind of object that is used with intransitive verbs and is cognate with or similar in meaning to the verb on which the predicate depends.

Examples:

  • She slept soundly
  • He walked slowly
  • They danced happily
  1. Complex Object – is a special construction consisting of two components, one of which is a noun in the nominative or possessive case or a pronoun in the possessive case or another. The second component is the predicate part and is expressed by the infinitive of the verb, participle, gerund, or less often by a noun, an adjective. Such constructions are indivisible, therefore in a sentence they act as one separate member of the sentence.

Examples:

  • She considers her husband a great cook
  • We saw the man running away
  • I heard the children singing in the park
  • The teacher assigned us the task of reading a book

Attribute

Attribute is a clause member that provides additional information about the subject or object in the sentence.

Features of the attribute:

  • They usually begin with a linking word such as who, whom, whose, which, that or where
  • They perform the function of defining the noun to which they refer.
  • They can be mandatory for understanding the meaning of the sentence.

Types of Attribute

There are two types of Attribute:

  1. Attribute that begins with a Relative Pronoun (which, which, which, which, who, what, whose, where, when, etc.)
    • The book that I read yesterday was very interesting
    • The woman who lives next door is a doctor
  2. Attribute that begins with a Relative Adverb (where, when, why, how, how much, etc.)
    • I remember the day when we met
    • The reason why she left is still a mystery

Attribute can be inserted between the subject and the predicate, or at the end of the sentence:

  • My brother, who lives in London, is a musician
  • The movie, which I saw last night, was very good
  • The man is a great scientist, whose discoveries have changed the world

It is important to remember that the definition cannot be an independent sentence, it must be part of a compound sentence. Attribute can be different in meaning and function in a sentence.

Attribute types by function in a sentence

Depending on the Attribute function in the sentence, the following types of Attribute are distinguished:

  1. Adjectival or Relative Clause is a subordinate clause that indicates some feature or definition of a noun in a sentence. It is introduced by the conjunctions who, whom, whose, which, that.

Example: The girl who is standing near the window is my friend

  1. Noun Clause is an Attribute that is expressed by a subordinate clause and acts as a noun in the main clause. This Attribute can be introduced by the conjunctions that, whether..

Example: I don’t know if he will come to the party

  1. Non-defining or Non-restrictive Clause is an Attribute that indicates additional information about a noun in a sentence, but is not necessary to understand the meaning of the sentence. It can be separated by commas. It is introduced by the conjunction who, whom, whose, which, that.

Example: My sister, who lives in Paris, is coming to visit us next month

Using the correct Attributes can be difficult for English learners, so it is important to improve your skills and know the specifics of each type of Attribute.

The Adverbial Modifier

The Adverbial Modifier is a secondary member of a sentence that indicates the time, place, manner, or degree of an action in which it occurs, or provides additional information about the action. Circumstances can be expressed by adverbial words, phrases, or adverbial constructions acting as circumstances.

In English, Adverbial Modifiers can appear in different places in sentences, depending on what information they provide. Most often, Adverbial Modifiers are placed before the predicate, but they can also be placed in other places of the sentence, in particular:

  • at the start of the sentence: Yesterday, I went to the store
  • in the middle of a sentence: I will go to the party if I finish my work on time
  • at the end of the sentence: She sang beautifully, as always

Types of Adverbial Modifier

Adverbial Modifiers are divided into different types depending on their function in the sentence:

  • Adverbial Modifiers of Place: I saw him there
  • Adverbial Modifiers of time: I will meet you later
  • Adverbial Modifiers of Manner: He spoke quickly
  • Adverbial Modifiers of degree: She sings very well
  • Adverbial Modifiers reasons: They stayed home because of the rain

Using an Adverbial Modifier in a sentence allows you to enrich its meaning and provide additional information about the action, which helps to understand the context. However, it is important not to overload the sentence with too many circumstances so as not to complicate it.

What you need to know about Secondary Parts of the Sentence

  • All Secondary Parts of the Sentence in English are optional and may be absent from the sentence. They are used to provide additional information about the subject’s actions, circumstances, state, and characteristics.
  • Secondary Parts of the Sentence include adjectival and adverbial circumstances located before or after the predicate of the main clause. Secondary Parts of the Sentence also include direct and indirect Object, Attribute, and Adverbial Modifier
  • All Secondary Parts of the Sentence have their own characteristics, are used with certain types of verbs and depend on the context of the sentence. Knowing and being able to use different types of Secondary Parts of the Sentence in English will help improve the quality and accuracy of your speech.
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