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By Wendy M. Anderson, Geraldine Woods, Lesley J. Ward

Part of English Grammar For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australia/New Zealand Edition)

To make a proper sentence, you need a subject and a verb — all other components of the sentence are just icing on the cake! Here’s how to break down the parts of a sentence:

  • Verb: Expresses an action or state of being.

  • Subject: The person or thing being talked about. Also the person or thing performing or being the verb, so it must match up with the verb.

  • Complement: A word or group of words that completes the meaning of the subject–verb pair.

  • Types of complements: Direct and indirect object, subject complement, object complement.