A sentence is a group of words that means something. The secret behind writing a good sentence is to make sure that it is grammatically correct, that the words are in the right order and that what you want to say is clear and precise. Sentences are used to give facts, ask questions, make exclamations, give orders and describe things. Each sentence should contain one main idea - nothing more. Of course, all sentences must begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark. A Fact Sentence The flight from London to Hong Kong takes 11 hours. A Question Sentence What are you doing tonight? An Exclamation Sentence What a beautiful day! An Order Sentence Turn to page 37 of your textbook! A Descriptive Sentence My brother is small and thin with straight black hair. When you write a sentence, you must check that the subject and the verb agree. Singular subject and plural verb? Wrong! Plural subject and singular verb? Wrong again! Always look at what you are saying and ask yourself who or what is doing the action. The word order of a basic English sentence is subject + verb + object. Get this right then build on it to give more information or to make your sentence more interesting. My dad bought a car. Last week my dad bought a car from a garage in Wan Chai. DO IT YOURSELF The student who wrote these sentences is not very good at word order. Please correct his mistakes. 1. Play tennis Paul and his friends every Friday. 2. My cousin I am going to see in Sai Kung. 3. Both his arm and his leg Joe has hurt. 4. A sports magazine every week I read. 5. Watch TV my parents on Saturday night. 6. My new shoes I have lost. DO IT YOURSELF AGAIN Can you please sort out these muddled sentences? Good luck! Sort out your subject first. 1. Food last Italian ate we week time the for first. 2. Corridor pretty very the the of end lives a girl young in flat at the. 3. My rich Maggie selfish and are John Uncle very and Aunt. 4. Grandparents house in a sea by Dennis' small the live. 5. Received bills three the in morning this we large post. 6. My barbecue Saturday all friends night enjoyed the last. Answers 1. Paul and his friends play tennis every Friday. 2. I am going to see my cousin in Sai Kung. 3. Joe has hurt both his arm and his leg. 4. I read a sports magazine every week. 5. My parents watch TV on Saturday night. 6. I have lost my new shoes. 1. We ate Italian food for the first time last week. 2. A very pretty young girl lives in the flat at the end of the corridor. 3. My Aunt Maggie and Uncle John are very rich and selfish. 4. Dennis' grandparents live in a small house by the sea. 5. We received three large bills in the post this morning. 6. All my friends enjoyed the barbecue last Saturday night. Young Post's grammar exercises won't kill you. Mandie and Thomas survived. Mandie Ho, 16 TWGHs Mrs Wu York Yu Memorial College I find Exercise 1 quite easy. They're all direct sentences. There aren't many descriptive phrases, so arranging the words is straightforward. Like Thomas, I find Exercise 2 more difficult. Especially question 3 as I don't know where the words 'Aunt' and 'Uncle' should go in the sentence. Also, for question 5, I find the word order a problem. I don't know where the word 'post' belongs. Can anybody help me? Thomas Li, 15 St Joseph's College: Exercise 2 is quite difficult. I'm not sure where to put the adjectives and where the time phrase 'this morning' should go in the sentence. I have seen the phrase appear at the beginning of a sentence, as well as at the end. Where exactly do I put it? I'm confused by all the rearrangement of phrases.