The actual division of the sentence.

Each sentence contains 2 parts. They are:

1)the section, containing the starting point of the information.

2)the section, containing the new information for whose sake the sentence has been said or written

e.g.I made the trip out here(the starting point) for curiosity(the new information).

In modern English linguists call the part of a sentence, containing the information known to the listener the theme and the part of a sentence, containing the new information the rheme.

The ways of expressing the theme and the rheme are different in different languages and depend on the grammatical structure of the given language: in the Russian language word order is one of the main means of showing the theme and the rheme of the sentence, because in the Rus.language we have a highly developed morphological system and free word order.

e.g. В комнату(theme) вошла девушка(rheme).

Девушка(theme) вошла в комнату(rheme).

In the English language there are the following ways of showing that a word or a phrase corresponds either the theme or the rheme.

The ways of showing the rheme:

1)the indefinite article with a noun shows that the noun is a rheme.

A girl entered the room.

2)the construction “it is” that is used to point to the rheme of the sentence, because with the help of this construction a word is placed into the 3rd place which is the strongest.

It was my brother who broke the glass.

3)The constructions there is\there are that is inverted word order.

There are many flowers in the garden.

4)The rheme of the sentence may be pointed out with the help of the particles.

Even, just, only, still, yet and others.

He knows English well.- Even he knows English well.

He knows even English well.

He even knows English.

He knows English even well.

5)The rheme of the sentence may be also pointed out with the help of a pause.

He leaned forward (pause) listening.

6) Emphatic stress is also used to give prominence to an element in the sentence and make it the rheme of the sentence.

`Give me the book!

Give `me the book!

Give me a `pencil, not a pen!

7) Inverted word order, very often with an adverbial modifier of place.

Before her we could see a vase of flowers.


The ways of showing the theme of the sentence:

They are not numerous and they are the following:

1)the definite article with the noun

The girl entered the room.

2)The theme may be also pointed out with the help of the prepositions as for\as to.

As for Pit, he preferred to stay at home.

Sometimes the theme represents something mentioned for the first time:

The girl leaned forward and looked at me.

This is the opening of the short story. Nothing is known about the girl yet. The theme of such a kind used at the beginning of the novel is the stylistic device which is called the beginning from the middle.

The author begins his narration in such a way, because he wants the reader to tell that the reader is already familiar with characters of the story.


The super-phrasal unity (SPU) сверхфразовые единства

An utterance may consist of 2 or more sentences, separated by full stop. But they are not isolated sentences. Therefore sequences of independent sentences. That`s why they form syntactic units. Syntactic units formed by several independent sentences have been studied rather recently. The first scientists who discussed them were the Russian linguists prof. Поспелов и Булаковский. Поспелов called this syntactic unit a complex syntactic unity (сложное синтаксическое целое)

Булаковский called such a unity a super-phrasal unity. The term SPU is widely used now. Sentences within a SPU have signals of connection. The first sentence of this unity may be regarded as a leading sentence. The sentence which follows it may be called a sequence sentence.

e.g. Has John come back?-Yes, he has.

SPU are connected topically, logically and structurally. From the point of view of their direction, structural connections between sentences in a SPU may be of 2 types: prospective and retrospective.

Prospective connection between sentences is achieved by connected elements that relate a given sentence to the sentence that follows it. These are such words as: the following, for example, firstly, secondly and soon.

e.g. I`ll tell you the following. Yesterday I ran into an accident.

The prospective connection is a special characteristic of scientific and technical texts. Prospective connections signal a continuation of speech. The sentences containing them are semantically incomplete.

e.g. I`ll tell you the following.

Retrospective connection relates a given sentence to the sentence or sentences that precede it.

e.g. Look at the child. He is crying.

Retrospective connections are widely used in oral and written speech. They sre found practically in all SPUs. There are 2 types of retrospective connections:

1) Correlative (относительные)

2) Conjunctive (связующие)

1)The correlative connection is the type of retrospective connection in which the succeeding sentence is connected with the preceding sentence by means of substitution or representation. Of an element of the first sentence in the sentence that follows it.

The most widely used substitutes are:

1)personal pronouns instead of nouns (The child broke his toy. He is crying.)

2)possessive or demonstrative pronouns

The child is crying. His favorite toy is broken.

3)The use of the definite article instead of the indefinite one.

A policeman has brought in a man, a woman and a child. The policeman is writing his report. The man is interrogated. The woman is being sent to hospital. The child is being taken care of.

4)The use of synonyms or antonyms.

The child had a knack for drawing. His mother was proud of his gift.

5)The use of the word of the same root.

The sun is shining. In spite of the sunshine it is frosty.

6)The use of the words of the same semantic group

The boy draw very well. The mother sent his pictures to the exhibition.

The children were quite different. But they liked the same books.

The most widely used cases of representation are auxiliary verbs and the particle “to”

e.g.Will you go to the cinema with us?-I don`t want to. I go to the Moscow teachers training college.-So do I.


2) The conjunctive connection is the type of retrocpective connection which is achieved by different conjunctions. The most typical conjunctions are:

1. conj. and/but

e.g. The day was cold and they decided to stay at home.

2. conjunctive – adverbs: besides, consequently, therefore

e.g. He missed a lot of lectures. Consequently he couldn’t pass his exam.

3. equivalents of conjunctive elements: in addition, by the time, in consequence, in that case…

e.g. It’s 1 p. m. In this case we shall finish the lecture.


Syntactical relation between sentences in SPUs are similar to the syntactical relations between clauses in composite sentences. They may be the following:

1) additive

We find additive relations between sentences when the second sentence gives some additional information to the information given in the 1st sentence.

e.g. The girl is beautiful and her smile is charming.

These relations are expressed by the conjunctions and by conjunctive adverbs: besides, additionally, in addition.

2) the relation of contrast

e.g. Her mother had been weak. But there was no weakness in Rose.

We find the relations of contrast between sentences when the 2nd sentence contains the information which is contrary to the information expected judging by the contents of the 1st sentence. Such sentences are connected by means of conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs: but, in contrast…

3) The relations of contradiction

e.g. I didn’t ask them to leave. On the contrary, I asked him to stay.

We have the relations of contradiction when the content of the 2nd sentence contradicts the contradiction of the 1st sentence. Such sentences are connected by means of the words: instead , on the contrary

4) causal – resultative relation

We have them when the 2nd sentence contains the result of the contents of the 1st sentence

e.g. He missed many classes. Consequently, he fell behind the group.

These relations are signaled by such conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs as: thus, so, consequently, accordingly, as a result

5) The relations of condition

e.g. If you are sober

The policeman said in that case you’ll have no difficulty in answering one more question.

If you are sober (трезвый), you’ll have no difficulty in answering one more question.

These relations are expressed by the phrase in that case.

6) Time or temporal relations

e.g. He drank his tea. Then he took the newspaper and began reading it.

These relations are expressed by then, meanwhile, meantime, after that, before that

7) illative relations

e.g. She has had a lot of work to do there last weeks. And the weather was too hot. In fact, it has been a tiring summer for her

In the last sentence there is usually the conclusion.

8) relations of concession.

e.g. Though the tourists were tired they didn’t stay in the village for the night

conjunctions – but, however, nevertheless

Due to the fact that syntactical relations between sentences are similar to the syntactical relations between clauses of compound and complex sentences, it’s possible to transform independent sentences into compound and complex sentences.

e.g. Her mother had been weak, but there was no weakness in Rose.

Though her mother had been weak, there was no weakness in Rose.


The latest achievements in the study of SPUs are used for teaching purpose. Specialists in methods of teaching English devoted several books and articles to this problem. If we know the meaning of conjunction, we can guess the meaning of the sentence introduced by these conjunctions

e.g. If we know that the conjunction but has the meaning of contrast we can guess the meaning of the sentence, introduced by it.

The sun is shining, but I’m not going to lie in the sun.

The sentence.


There exist more than 150 definitions of the sentence. Some of them are the following:

Prof. Bloh in his book gives the following definition:

“The sentence is an immediate integral unit of speech build up of words, according to a definite syntactic pattern and distinguished by the contextualy relevant communicative purpose.”

In the book ”a couse of English grammar” by Хаймович and Роговская we find the following definition:

“The sentence is a communicative unit made up of words in confirmaty with their combinability and structurally united by intonation and predicativity. The predicativity is the relation of the thought of the sentence to the situation of speech.

Predicativity is an essential part of the contents of the sentence. Intonation is an essential part of the form of the sentence. The problem of classification of sentences is rather complicated and there exists several different classifications based on different principals.

Sentences may be classified according to the types of communication. That is to their communicative value. They may be classified according to their structure.

Sentences may also be classified according to responses which they elicit.

The classification of sentences according the type of communication.

Sentences are traditionally classified into declarative interrogative and imperative.

A declarative sentence expresses a statement – that is the speaker states his opinion on a certain subject.

An interrogative sentence expresses a question – that is the speaker wants an answer which will give the inform. he wants. Usually interrogative sentences are classified into 4 types: general, special, disjunctive, alternative.

Special questions are often used to get more detailed or exact information. Besides they are often used as short replys.

e.g. I want to talk to you. What about?

Besides the types given above.

Book of grammar give more types of questions:

1) suggestive or declarative questions

You really want to go there tonight?

Such questions keep the word order of statements but have a rising tone in speaking. They may contain such independent elements as interjections or modal words.

e.g. Surely, you are not offended?

You are joking, eh?

2) ritorical questions which imply no answer.

e.g. How could I’ve acted differently.

3) questions with communicative introducers

e.g. I wonder why he’s so late.


An imperative sentence expresses a command or request – that is the speaker expects the person addressed to fulfill a certain action.

Imperative sentences usually begin with the verb in the imperative mood.

e.g. Do it at once!

Imperative sentences expressing requests begin with the words: please, kindly.

e.g. Kindly, help her.

More tactfull form of request can be obtained by changing an imper. sentence into a question beginning with will/would, can/could:

e.g. Will you help me?

Would you mind giving me a cup of tea?

There are also verbless imp. sentences - that is imp. sentences containing no verbs but only nouns.

e.g. Silence!

The sugar, please!

A glass of water at once!

They are used in everyday speech.

Imp. sentences may contain communicative introducers.

e.g. Insist that you should do it at once!

It’s necessary that you should translate this sentence!

All the 3 types may be exclamatory.

e.g. Don’t stay like that!

Do something!


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