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A Little Something for Teachers 6


The Sentence



Image result for images for the cat ran out the door
The sentence is a group of words
Strung together to form a community,
Each word performs a function
And works together in unity.

They do not clash and fight as we do
But are contented with their lot
And though they may rotate positions
They’re not fazed with their new spot.

I may say, “The cat just ran out the door.”
Or, “Out the door the cat just ran.”
The function of each word remains the same
Even with a change to the set out plan.

Let’s think of the most basic sentence
Though somewhat complex it may be
For one word is what at first appears,
Just one simple word is what we see.

“Come!” the teacher told the boy
And he understood just what she meant,
He reluctantly followed after her
Seemingly aware of her intent.

One word we see, you may argue
But the other word is understood,
Had you been in the place of that little boy
The same thing he did you would.

I deliberately embolden that little word
So that you would clearly see
That though not seen at the very first
The ‘you’ is understood to be.

You come” is what the teacher meant
And clearly what he understood
And obliged to obey on her command
The boy did exactly what he should.

As a youngster in primary school
I had designated functions for words,
Cricket for me was always a noun
And walk was nothing but a verb.
  
Then later when I started to teach
I observed this was not always so
For words were never meant to be alone
But in their communities their functions show.

This was so enchanting for me
That I explored it to the fullest,
What an exciting study it turned out to be
As I put my students to the test!

What part of speech is ‘cricket’?
“A noun” was the concerted reply
Then placed in a community of words
That response they were forced to deny.

Take for example the following,
“We were there at the cricket match.”
Cricket’ as used could not be a noun
Not with the word to which it’s attached.

It’s not in the naming business here
But most definitely shows describing might,
A descriptive word you must agree
Yes, an adjective must be its type.

For adjectives describe
That’s the work they mostly do
And when they function in communities
Their work is clearly viewed.

What part of speech is ‘walk’?
A verb they all chanted with glee
But renounced their chorused position
When ‘walk’ worked in a community.

This example was drawn to their attention
And given to them to appraise,
“The walk was long and tiring,”
Where the word ‘walk’ held they gaze.

A verb it really could not be
For its function appeared to be different,
Somewhat like a noun, though intangible
This was the students’ bent.

“Correct,” this teacher surely agreed
For that’s the function where ‘walk’ is at,
Abstract noun if required to qualify
But a noun at least is the actual fact.


Image result for Images for what is a sentence


So to determine a word’s part of speech
It must be in a community,
Therein we can ascertain its label
By its obvious functionality.

A describing word is an adjective
If a pronoun or noun it describes,
If on the other hand it modifies a verb
Then an adverb should be prescribed.

Not all verbs are action words
Like has and have and is and are,
Neither are all adjectives descriptive words
Some point to objects near or far.

"Lucy 'has' a book."
Is a sentence proper and true
But 'has' is not an action word;
Can you see my point of view?

The sentence with all its working words
Is like our local community
With teachers, nurses and policemen
Working for the good of everybody.

When our community workers do their job
We all derived the benefit,
When words in their community function right
The sentence is far more explicit.
Stewart Russell © 2017