With these two elements in place, there are five patterns that emerge. From these patterns you construct sentences that can make your readers laugh, make them cry, scare them silly, motivate them, jump-start their day, or just tell them what they need to know.
Each pattern contains a subject and a verb, but depending on the pattern, the predicate may also include a direct object, an indirect object, a subject complement, or an object complement.
The first pattern is just a subject and verb with no additional clauses or phrases.
The second pattern has a subject, a transitive verb, and a direct object.
The third pattern has a subject, a transitive verb, an indirect object, and a direct object.
The fourth pattern has a subject, a transitive verb, a direct object, and an object complement.
The fifth pattern has a subject, a linking verb, and a subject complement.
Let’s define some of the elements mentioned above. A transitive verb directs the action from the subject to the person, place, or thing called the direct object. An object complement adds to the meaning of the direct object. An indirect object is a noun, pronoun, or word group that is only affected by the transitive verb in an indirect manner. A linking verb links a word or phrase (a subject complement) with the subject that describes or completes its meaning.
Reading such definitions can make you feel like a dog chasing its tail. So I have written some sentences to illustrate the patterns shown above. See if you can identify the components of each pattern.
The writer sighed. (1)
He hated writer’s block. (2)
It gave him a migraine. (3)
He considered writer’s block an anathema. (4)
His mind was unfocused. (5)
Sentence patterns are basic structures, of course. A sentence is expanded through the addition of words, phrases, and clauses. These serve as links and modifiers which expand and refine the content of the sentence to make it more interesting or informative.