Trunk

The most basic sentence pattern is Subject + Verb (SV): Trees grow.

We usually add more information with Subject + Verb + Object (SVO): We need them.

In x-word grammar, we call SVO a trunk. It’s the foundation of every sentence, like the strong, solid part of a tree.

With a strong trunk, a tree can grow branches and leaves. It’s the same for a sentence. Without a trunk, something is missing.

How can you decide if your sentence has at least a trunk? Every trunk will turn into a Yes/No question, starting with an x-word.

Trees grow. (Do trees grow?)

We need them. (Do we need them?)

They give us oxygen. (Do they give us oxygen?)

They also absorb carbon dioxide. (Do they absorb carbon dioxide?)

How do these sentences sound if we put them all together in a paragraph?

    Trees grow. We need them. They give us oxygen. They also absorb carbon dioxide.

Hmm. Too basic? Let’s combine these trunks and add 1 word:

    Trees grow. We need them because they give us oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.

Now we have 2 trunks instead of 4, with the extra word “because.” Which version do you like better? Why? Click the other sentence patterns to learn more!


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