• E016 In the Beginning

    Welcome to English with Kimberley.

    In this episode, I want to talk about the anatomy of sentences. That is, how they are made up just like we are made up of heads, arms and legs.

    How about this little quiz first, as always – just for fun?

    Which of these is different from the others?

    a) Kimberley loves Vegemite.

    b) Australians like BBQs.

    c) Close the window.

    or d) Australians love the outdoor life.

    I’ll just repeat the question for you.

    Which of these is different from the others?

    a) Kimberley loves Vegemite.

    b) Australians like BBQs.

    c) Close the window.

    or d) Australians love the outdoor life.

    Before I give the answer, let me tell you about Vegemite which I mentioned in a) ‘Kimberley loves Vegemite’.

    Wikipedia describes Vegemite as a thick, dark brown Australian food spread made from mould (which in cooking we call ‘yeast’ just to make it sound yummier!) and just about every household in Australia has a jar somewhere in their cupboard.

    Anyway, back to the question’s answer.

    Did you get c) ‘Close the window’?

    ‘Close the window’ is an instruction while the others are straight forward sentences.

    So, why is it important to spot the difference?

    Well, this is because sentences should always have a beginning – that is a subject – and an ending – called a predicate in the textbooks!

    Except instructions, because if we know the instructions are for ‘you’, then we don’t need to mention it – so they don’t have a subject in the instruction – because it’s always ‘you’!

    The subject in, ‘Kimberley loves Vegemite’ is ‘Kimberley’ and the ending is ‘loves Vegemite’.

    Likewise, with, ‘Australians love the outdoor life’ the subject is ‘Australians’ and the ending is, ‘love the outdoor life’.

    Did you notice that the subject always is the thing or person who does the verb?

    Did you also notice that the ending always contains the verb and adds additional information like what the verb is done to, when, where, how and so on?

    We’ll talk about this some more in another podcast – but why don’t you practise spotting the beginning and endings of sentences as you read and write. I’m sure it will improve your English.

    Now, our final quiz – a little different to our usual style.

    Which parts of this sentence is the beginning or subject and which is the ending or predicate?

    The big scary monster from the deep blue sea frightened all the passengers on the ferry from Melbourne to Tasmania.

    And again – which part of this sentence is the subject and which is the ending?

    The big scary monster from the deep blue sea frightened all the passengers on the ferry from Melbourne to Tasmania

    Did you work out, ‘The big scary monster from the deep blue sea’ is the beginning or subject

    And, ‘frightened all the passengers on the ferry from Melbourne to Tasmania’ is the ending.

    See how the ending has a verb ‘frightened’ and that the beginning tells us who did the frightening – the monsters.

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    You can also find a script of this podcast at www.goaustralia.biz

    I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again.

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