The Sentence Structure
This is Lesson 3 of our Basic English Series.
More on imperative and interrogative sentences.
There is an important rule that you need to remember in this lesson, and we will also see a few examples to help you understand the rule. Here is the second rule in the English Language that we need to remember, especially when writing.
ELGR2: If a noun in direct address is used in an imperative or interrogative sentence, a comma separates it to show its independence.
- Jack, please move over.
- Please cancel my appointment, Jack.
- You can leave anytime, Jack, if you’re done.
In the above examples, Jack is a noun in direct address because it names the person directly. However, it is not the subject of the sentence. As mentioned in the two previous lessons, the subject in an imperative sentence is understood to be ‘you’. The word Jack is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma to show that it was used independently. On two of the above examples, the noun in direct address were also situated either at the end, or in the middle, of the sentence.
A noun in direct address can also be seen in interrogative sentences.
- Jack, did you fix this?
- Did you see the anyone, Jack?
- If you were in my place, Jack, would you have done the same?
Note that the noun ‘Jack‘ was located in three different locations in the examples above. What we used in the examples was a proper noun. Does the same principle apply if we use a common noun?
Let us give it a try.
Imperative sentence examples:
- Move on, soldiers!
- Soldiers, start crossing the bridge!
- You may proceed, soldiers, if you are done.
What about interrogative sentences? Let us try a few.
- Have you started moving, soldiers?
- Soldiers, what time will you cross the bridge?
- If you were to follow orders, soldiers, would you proceed as instructed?
In the above examples, the common noun soldiers was used and the same principle, or rule, was used as we did with the proper noun.
This lesson is a short one, but we learned a lot of principles that are useful especially when writing.
We briefly mentioned nouns in this lesson. Please move on to the next to learn more about this.
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