Writing English Sentences: What is a sentence?

Writing English Sentences: What is a sentence?

Writing English sentences is series of articles which will help ESL students to develop their English writing skills. The series of articles are written by TESOL teacher and author Stephen E. Dew. They are designed to assist the basic second language learner to understand English writing and learn how to write interesting sentences more easily.


A noun is a naming word. It names someone or something. When writing sentences, you use nouns to identify what you are writing about.

  • A person or an animal such as a dog, students, or Mr. Fothergill.
  • A place such as a theater, Phnom Penh, or a park.
  • A thing such as a phone, a chair, or books.
  • An idea such as hate, love, and friendship.


Pronouns are used like nouns. They can replace nouns. When writing English sentences, we can use pronouns instead of nouns. This means we do not repeat the noun over and over again. It makes writing and reading much more simple and understandable.

Writing English Sentences







When writing English sentences, we use verbs to say what action is performed in the sentence or someone’s condition or feeling. The verb changes to match who does the action and when it happens. This is subject verb agreement, and states subjects and verbs must agree in number. That is, singular subject singular verb, plural subject plural verbs. However, there are many anomalies that must be learnt. You can read more about subject verb agreement in Learn English Paragraph Writing Skills.


An English sentence has a subject and verb. The subject is a noun. The sentence always begins with a capital letter and ends with a period punctuation mark. Note, following the rules for subject verb agreement.

Writing English Sentences: Identifying Subjects, Verbs, and Prepositional Phrases.

Underline the subject, circle the verb, and put parentheses around all of the prepositional phrases.

1. Mrs Hung later became the director of the gallery.
2. It rained hard during the evening.
3. I would like to buy a green coat likes yours.
4. For my holiday, I went to Kompong Soam.
5. They lived down the road from us.
6. The field of rice swayed in the morning breeze.
7. Near the edge of the river, a single Kookaburra sang in a tree.
8. Many Australians fly to Bali for their summer vacation.
9. The bank robbers hid for a month in an abandoned house.
10. Each of us needs a little more time.
11. One of the cows is limping.
12. Open the cupboard and put these shoes inside the box.
13. On the last day of our holiday, we climbed Mt. Cook.
14. A flight from Cambodia to Thailand only takes an hour and a half.
15. My great grandmother slept quietly with her dog.
16. Korng and Suching were the best athletes on the team.
17. What is the name of your favourite movie?
18. A house of guests usually means a lot of work.
19. Start before midday.
20. Father took me to the pharmacy in the mall.

Author Stephen E. Dew on Amazon.

writing English sentences