Basic English Grammar (Part 2) - English Language Proficiency & Communication Skills

There are four types of sentence:

1. A declarative sentence. A declarative sentence states a fact and ends with a period / full stop.
(Remember, a statement which contains an indirect question (like this example) is not a question.)

2. An imperative sentence. An imperative sentence is a command or a polite request. It ends with an exclamation mark or a period / full stop.

3. An interrogative sentence. An interrogative sentence asks a question and ends with a question mark.

4. An exclamatory sentence. An exclamatory sentence expresses excitement or emotion. It ends with an exclamation mark.

The Four Sentence Structures
A sentence can consist of a single clause or several clauses. When a sentence is a single clause, it is called a simple sentence (and the clause is called an independent clause). A sentence must contain at least one independent clause. Below are the four types of sentence structure:

Complex Sentence  A complex sentence has an independent clause and at least one dependent.
Compound Sentence - A compound sentence has at least two independent clauses.
Simple Sentence - A simple sentence has just one independent clause.
Compound-Complex Sentence - A compound-complex sentence has at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.

What Is a Phrase?
A phrase is a group of words that stand together as a single unit, typically as part of a clause or a sentence.

A phrase does not contain a subject and verb and, consequently, cannot convey a complete thought. A phrase contrasts with a clause. A clause does contain a subject and verb, and it can convey a complete idea.

Adverbs of Frequency
The Position of the Adverb in a Sentence

An adverb of frequency goes before a main verb (except with To Be).

Subject + adverb + main verb
I always remember to do my homework.
He normally gets good marks in exams.

An adverb of frequency goes after the verb to be.

Subject + to be + adverb
They are never pleased to see me.
She isn't usually bad tempered.

When we use an auxiliary verb (have, will, must, might, could, would, can, etc.), the adverb is placed between the auxiliary and the main verb. This is also true for to be.

Subject + auxiliary + adverb + main verb
She can sometimes beat me in a race.
I would hardly ever be unkind to someone.
They might never see each other again.
They could occasionally be heard laughing.

We can also use the following adverbs at the start of a sentence:

Usually, normally, often, frequently, sometimes, occasionally
Occasionally, I like to eat Thai food.
BUT we cannot use the following at the beginning of a sentence:
Always, seldom, rarely, hardly, ever, never.

We use hardly ever and never with positive, not negative verbs:

She hardly ever comes to my parties.
They never say 'thank you'.
We use ever in questions and negative statements:
Have you ever been to New Zealand?
I haven't ever been to Switzerland. (The same as 'I have never been Switzerland').

We can also use the following expressions when we want to be more specific about the frequency:
- Everyday - once a month - twice a year - four times a day - every other week