4.1 Subject + verb structures - 4 Sentence structure 1

Academic Writing for International Students of Science - Jane Bottomley 2015

4.1 Subject + verb structures
4 Sentence structure 1

In order to express yourself clearly, you need to have good control of sentence structure. This chapter will help you to write clear sentences with good grammar and punctuation.

Most sentences in English are built around one or more structures, where the verb agrees with the subject, e.g.

✵ the ability to absorb and retain heat.

✵ both from environmental effects, such as moisture gain or loss and heat, and from applied stress, both long- and short-term.

✵ the smallest living organisms.

✵ the building blocks of elements, of a nucleus surrounded by a cloud of orbiting electrons.

✵ ever better understood, and

Note that the subject can be made up of one or several words.

Appendix 2 on Noun Phrases for information on the structure of multi-word subjects

There are certain verb forms and patterns which are common in academic scientific writing.

Appendix 1 on Verb Forms and Patterns

Explorative Task

Identify the subject + verb structures in these sentences.

1) Lime (CaO) is widely used as an ingredient in mortars, plasters and masonry.

2) One of the most noticeable trends over many decades has been shifting patterns of health and especially the causes of morbidity (illness) and mortality (death).

3) A motherboard is the major circuit board inside a computer and it holds the processor, the computer bus, the main memory and many other vital components.

4) Solar power is one facet of renewable energy, with wind and geothermal being others.

5) Although quarantine is the oldest method of dealing with communicable diseases, it is now generally used only for very severe diseases, such as cholera and yellow fever.