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Grammar . a grammatical unit of one or more words that expresses an independent statement, question, request, command, exclamation, etc., and that typically has a subject as well as a predicate, as in John is here. or Is John here? In print or writing, a sentence typically begins with a capital letter and ends with appropriate punctuation; in speech it displays recognizable, communicative intonation patterns and is often marked by preceding and following pauses.

an authoritative decision; a judicial judgment or decree, especially the judicial determination of the punishment to be inflicted on a convicted criminal: Knowledgeable sources say that the judge will announce the sentence early next week.

the punishment itself; term: a three-year sentence.

Music . a complete idea, usually consisting of eight to sixteen measures; period (def. 18) . : See also phrase (def. 4) .

Archaic . a saying, apothegm, or maxim.

Obsolete . an opinion given on a particular question.

to pronounce sentence upon; condemn to punishment: The judge sentenced her to six months in jail.

Origin of sentence

Grammar notes for sentence, other words from sentence.

  • sen·tenc·er, noun
  • pre·sen·tence, verb (used with object), pre·sen·tenced, pre·sen·tenc·ing.
  • re·sen·tence, noun, verb (used with object), re·sen·tenced, re·sen·tenc·ing.
  • un·sen·tenced, adjective

Words Nearby sentence

  • Sensurround
  • sentence adverb
  • sentence connector
  • sentence fragment
  • sentence stress
  • sentence substitute

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sentence in a sentence

There’s an unlimited number of possible things we can say, of sentence structures, but not anything can be a sentence structure.

We have to come to terms with the fact that recognizing sentences written by humans is no longer a trivial task.

You can even set how many sentences you want in your summary.

Simple enough, but you can glean much information from that sentence .

It does not help anyone to have communities where people feel like living there is a death sentence .

As this list shows, punishments typically run to a short-ish jail sentence and/or a moderately hefty fine.

Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice turned herself in to serve a 15-month sentence for bankruptcy fraud.

That Huckabee is mentioned in the same sentence with other aspiring conservative governors, especially Bobby Jindal, is laughable.

Brown had been serving a life sentence ; McCollum had been on Death Row.

Had he been competently represented, the jury might well have failed to concur on a death sentence .

Before he could finish the sentence the Hole-keeper said snappishly, "Well, drop out again—quick!"

Each sentence came as if torn piecemeal from his unwilling tongue; short, jerky phrases, conceived in pain and delivered in agony.

sentence of fine and imprisonment passed upon lord Bacon in the house of peers for bribery.

John Wilkes released from the tower by the memorable sentence of chief justice Pratt.

It seeks the shortest phrase or sentence and adds successively all the modifiers, making no omissions.

British Dictionary definitions for sentence

/ ( ˈsɛntəns ) /

a sequence of words capable of standing alone to make an assertion, ask a question, or give a command, usually consisting of a subject and a predicate containing a finite verb

the judgment formally pronounced upon a person convicted in criminal proceedings, esp the decision as to what punishment is to be imposed

an opinion, judgment, or decision

music another word for period (def. 11)

any short passage of scripture employed in liturgical use : the funeral sentences

logic a well-formed expression, without variables

archaic a proverb, maxim, or aphorism

(tr) to pronounce sentence on (a convicted person) in a court of law : the judge sentenced the murderer to life imprisonment

Derived forms of sentence

  • sentential ( sɛnˈtɛnʃəl ), adjective
  • sententially , adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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What Is a Sentence?

  • The cat sat on the mat.

A More Formal Definition of Sentence

Oxford Dictionary

Table of Contents

The Four Types of Sentence

The four sentence structures, (1) simple sentence, (2) complex sentence, (3) compound sentence, (4) compound-complex sentence.

Why Understanding Sentences Is Important

Video Lesson

four types of sentence

(1) Declarative Sentence

  • He has every attribute of a dog except loyalty. (Politician Thomas P Gore)
  • I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. (Comedian Rita Rudner)

(2) Imperative Sentence

  • When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. (Philosopher Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862)

(3) Interrogative Sentence

  • Who knew that dog saliva can mend a broken heart? (Author Jennifer Neal)

(4) Exclamatory Sentence

  • In Washington, it's dog eat dog. In academia, it's exactly the opposite! (Politician Robert Reich)

The Subject Could Be Implied.

  • You can't surprise a man with a dog . (Screenwriter Cindy Chupack)
  • Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" until you can find a rock. (Actor Will Rogers)
  • When you're on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog . (Cartoonist Peter Steiner)
  • Cry "Havoc ," and let slip the dogs of war . (Playwright William Shakespeare)
  • When a dog bites a man, that is not news because it happens so often, but if a man bites a dog, that is news . (Editor John B Bogart)

(Reason 1) Avoid the run-on sentence.

wrong cross

  • Don't play hide and seek; no one would look for you.
  • I like a woman with a head on her shoulders – I hate necks. (Actor Steve Martin)
  • My friend is a procrastinator...he's afraid of Saturday the 14th.

(Reason 2) Punctuate your sentences correctly.

(1) deciding whether to use a comma with the subordinate clause in a complex sentence..

  • When I was six , I had a wind-up Evil Knievel motorbike.
  • I had a wind-up Evil Knievel motorbike when I was six .
  • When you're on the internet , nobody knows you're a dog . (Cartoonist Peter Steiner)
  • Nobody knows you're a dog when you're on the internet .

(2) Deciding whether to put a comma before a conjunction.

  • Lee likes pies and cakes .
  • Lee likes pies , and he likes cakes .
  • Go , and never darken my towels again . (Comedian Groucho Marx)

correct tick

  • Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people (mainly children) , but this is rare . They live away from people and have developed a fear of humans from hunters and shepherds .
  • They live away from people, and they have developed a fear of humans from hunters and shepherds .
  • Some men are born mediocre , some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them . (Playwright Joseph Heller)
  • "Veni, vidi, vici" [ I came , I saw , I conquered .] (Roman emperor Julius Caesar)

(Reason 3) As the subject of an imperative sentence is "you," you can't use "myself."

(reason 4) don't use a question mark with a declarative sentence that includes an indirect question..

Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer video to text? Here is a list of all our grammar videos .

  • You can't write a sentence, put a comma, and then write another sentence. That's an error called a run-on sentence or comma splice.
  • If you have a fronted adverbial, use a comma.
  • Don't use a comma if your adverbial is at the back.
  • Use a comma before a conjunction (e.g., and , or , but ) that joins two independent clauses.
  • I like tea but hate coffee .
  • I like tea , but I hate coffee .
  • Be careful when using myself in an imperative sentence.
  • Don't be tempted to put a question mark at the end of a declarative sentence that contains an indirect question.

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Definition of 'sentence'

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sentence in British English

Sentence in american english, examples of 'sentence' in a sentence sentence, cobuild collocations sentence, trends of sentence.

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a meaning of sentence

What is a Sentence? (Definition, Examples, Grammar)

What is a Sentence?

What is a sentence? A sentence is a group of words that conveys an idea. Every word in a sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with either a period , question mark, or exclamation mark . The basic structure of a sentence ideally contains a subject and a verb .

What is a sentence?

What is a sentence?

Simply put, a sentence is a group of words that express a thought , idea, or concept. A complete sentence is one that uses a subject and combinations of verbs + prepositions + pronouns to create communication and dialogue .

What is a sentence?

What are examples of a sentence?

After the brief explanation of what is a sentence, here are a few examples of how sentences are constructed.

  • Sam speaks German. This is a complete sentence. In this example, “Sam” is the subject, and “speaks” is the verb.
  • Who Is John sitting with? This is an interrogative sentence . Here, “John” is the subject, and “sitting” is the verb.
  • Sam and John are eating lunch at the moment. In this example, the sentence has two subjects which are “Sam” and “John” and the verb is “eating”.

Sometimes sentences have the subject hidden. For example, “Wash the clothes”. In this sentence, the hidden subject is “you” and the verb is “wash”.

What is a sentence?

Different ways of constructing a sentence

Following are the different ways of constructing a sentence.

  • Subject, Verb, And Object
  • Subject, Verb, Adverb
  • Subject, Verb, Adjective
  • Subject And Verb

Subject, Verb, and Object

An example of this type of sentence is “Shawn eats a banana”. Here, “Shawn” is the subject, “eats” is the verb, and “banana” is the object.

Subject and Verb

An example of this type of sentence is “John swims”. Here, “John” is the subject, and “swims” is the verb.

Subject, Verb, and Adverb

“He walked quickly” is an example of a “subject-verb-adverb” sentence. In this example, “he” is the subject, “walked” is the verb, and “quickly” is the adverb .

Subject, Verb, and Adjective

“She looks beautiful” is an example of a “subject-verb-adjective” sentence. Here, “she” is the subject, “looks” is the verb, and “beautiful” is the adjective .

What are the different purposes of a sentence?

A sentence can issue a command, ask a question, or convey a fact or information. Here is a list of the different purposes of a sentence in detail.

Declarative sentence

This type of sentence conveys an opinion, or feeling , or makes a statement. Declarative sentences end with a period.

  • John is feeling jubilant after winning the match. This is a declarative statement that expresses a feeling.
  • Sam plays excellent football. This example conveys an opinion.
  • She wants to be an excellent basketball coach. This example makes a statement.

Interrogative sentence

Interrogative sentences are those sentences that ask questions. These sentences end with a question mark.

  • Where is he going? This is an interrogative sentence.
  • Did he join the basketball team?
  • Who is Sam talking to?

Imperative sentence

This type of sentence is used to issue a command or make a request for something. It usually ends with a period but sometimes it also ends with an exclamation mark.

  • Please wash the utensils. In this example, the subject is requesting to perform an action. Here, the subject is “you” which is hidden.
  • I want you to go to the grocery store. Here, the subject is commanded to perform an action. The subject is “you” and the verb is “go”.

Exclamatory sentence

Exclamatory sentences convey emotions in general. These could be expressing sorrow, happiness, or angry feelings. Such sentences end with an exclamation mark.

  • Wow, I am feeling ecstatic today! This sentence expresses happiness.
  • Gosh, I feel pathetic! This sentence expresses anger or frustration.

Sentences are structured in different ways. Here are the four ways to structure them.

The four sentence structures

  • The Simple Sentence
  • The Compound Sentence
  • The Complex Sentence
  • The Compound-Complex Sentence

The simple sentence

A simple sentence structure is made up of a single clause and has no dependent clauses .

  • She eats sandwiches for lunch every day.
  • Tom likes to sleep in the afternoon.

The compound sentence

A compound sentence structure contains two independent clauses or more. These independent clauses are joined with a coordinating conjunction like “and”, “or”, etc.

  • Tom plays guitar and his sister plays the violin.
  • Shawn eats cereal for breakfast and his father has toast for breakfast.

The complex sentence

The complex sentence contains two clauses. One is an independent clause and the other one is a dependent clause. These clauses are connected with the help of a subordinating conjunction .

  • I eat biscuits when I am hungry. In this sentence, “I eat biscuits” is the independent clause which is followed by a subordinating conjunction “when” and then comes the dependent clause.
  • I love fruits because they are healthy. Here, “I love fruits” is the independent clause followed by subordinating conjunction “because” and then comes the dependent clause. 

The compound-complex sentence

A compound-complex sentence is constructed with at least two independent and one dependent clause.

  • Amelie starts to prepare the meal and her daughter sets the table when Amelie’s husband comes home after work. 
  • John wears a raincoat and Sam takes an umbrella when it rains.  

Yes, a sentence can be a two-word. For example, “Lions roar”. This is a two-word sentence and is a complete sentence.

In an active voice sentence, the subject executes the action. For example, “John is eating grapes”. Here, John (subject) is performing the action of eating.

In a passive voice sentence, the subject receives the action. For example, “The girl was hit by the ball”.

  • What Is A Sentence? | Grammar | EnglishClub
  • Sentence: Definition and Examples
  • Sentence – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Basic English sentence structure | Wordy

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a meaning of sentence

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a meaning of sentence

About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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  • Indefinite Article
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  • Introductory Phrase
  • Indefinite Pronoun
  • Indirect Characterization
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  • Intensive Pronoun
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  • Indefinite Tense
  • Infinitive Phrase
  • Interjection
  • Intensifier
  • Indicative Mood
  • Juxtaposition
  • Linking Verb
  • Misplaced Modifier
  • Nominative Case
  • Noun Adjective
  • Object Pronoun
  • Object Complement
  • Order of Adjectives
  • Parallelism
  • Prepositional Phrase
  • Past Simple Tense
  • Past Continuous Tense
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  • Past Progressive Tense
  • Present Simple Tense
  • Present Perfect Tense
  • Personal Pronoun
  • Personification
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  • Proper Noun
  • Present Participle
  • Quotation Marks
  • Relative Pronoun
  • Reflexive Pronoun
  • Reciprocal Pronoun
  • Subordinating Conjunction
  • Simple Future Tense
  • Stative Verb
  • Subjunctive
  • Subject Complement
  • Subject of a Sentence
  • Sentence Variety
  • Second Conditional
  • Superlative Adjective
  • Slash Symbol
  • Topic Sentence
  • Types of Nouns
  • Types of Sentences
  • Uncountable Noun
  • Vowels and Consonants

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Sentence Definition and Examples in English Grammar

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  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
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A sentence is the largest independent unit of grammar : it begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation point. The word "sentence" is from the Latin for "to feel." The adjective form of the word is "sentential." The sentence is traditionally (and inadequately) defined as a word or group of words that expresses a complete idea and that includes a subject and a verb .

Types of Sentence Structures

The four basic sentence structures are the:

  • Simple : A sentence with only one  independent clause .
  • Compound : Two (or more)  simple sentences  joined by a  conjunction  or an appropriate  mark of punctuation .
  • Complex : A sentence that contains an independent clause (or  main clause ) and at least one  dependent clause .
  • Compound-complex : A sentence with two or more independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.

Functional Types of Sentences

  • Declarative : "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. "  (Mark Twain)
  • Interrogative :   "But what is the difference between literature and journalism? Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read." (Oscar Wilde)
  • Imperative : "Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." (Mark Twain)
  • Exclamatory : "To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!" (H. L. Mencken)

Definitions and Observations on Sentences

"I am trying to say it all in one sentence, between one Cap and one period."

(William Faulkner in a letter to Malcolm Cowley)

"The term 'sentence' is widely used to refer to quite different types of unit. Grammatically, it is the highest unit and consists of one independent clause, or two or more related clauses. Orthographically and rhetorically, it is that unit which starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark."
(Angela Downing, "English Grammar: A University Course," 2nd ed. Routledge, 2006)

"I have taken as my definition of a sentence any combination of words whatsoever, beyond the simple naming of an object of sense."

(Kathleen Carter Moore, "The Mental Development of a Child," 1896)

"[A sentence is a] unit of speech constructed according to language-dependent rules, which is relatively complete and independent in respect to content, grammatical structure, and intonation."
(Hadumo Bussmann, "Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics." Trans. by Lee Forester et al. Routledge, 1996)

"A written sentence is a word or group of words that conveys meaning to the listener, can be responded to or is part of a response, and is punctuated."

(Andrew S. Rothstein and Evelyn Rothstein, "English Grammar Instruction That Works!" Corwin Press, 2009)

"None of the usual definitions of a sentence really says much, but every sentence ought somehow to organize a pattern of thought, even if it does not always reduce that thought to bite-sized pieces."
(Richard Lanham, "Revising Prose." Scribner's, 1979)
"The sentence has been defined as the largest unit for which there are rules of grammar."
(Christian Lehmann, "Theoretical Implications of Grammaticalization Phenomena," Published in "The Role of Theory in Language Description," ed. by William A. Foley. Mouton de Gruyter, 1993)

The Notional Definition of a Sentence

Sidney Greenbaum and Gerald Nelson give a different take in explaining what a sentence is and does:

"It is sometimes said that a sentence expresses a complete thought. This is a notional definition: it defines a term by the notion or idea it conveys. The difficulty with this definition lies in fixing what is meant by a 'complete thought.' There are notices, for example, that seem to be complete in themselves but are not generally regarded as sentences: Exit, Danger, 50 mph speed limit ...On the other hand, there are sentences that clearly consist of more than one thought. Here is one relatively simple example:
This week marks the 300th anniversary of the publication of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, a fundamental work for the whole of modern science and a key influence on the philosophy of the European Enlightenment.
How many 'complete thoughts' are there in this sentence? We should at least recognize that the part after the comma introduces two additional points about Newton's book: (1) that it is a fundamental work for the whole of modern science, and (2) that it was a key influence on the philosophy of the European Enlightenment. Yet this example would be acknowledged by all as a single sentence, and it is written as a single sentence."
(Sidney Greenbaum and Gerald Nelson, "An Introduction to English Grammar, 2nd ed." Pearson, 2002)

Another Definition of a Sentence

D.J. Allerton provides an alternative definition of a sentence:

"Traditional attempts to define the sentence were generally either psychological or logical-analytic in nature: the former type spoke of 'a complete thought' or some other inaccessible psychological phenomenon; the latter type, following Aristotle, expected to find every sentence made up of a logical subject and logical predicate, units that themselves rely on the sentence for their definition. A more fruitful approach is that of [Otto] Jespersen (1924: 307), who suggests testing the completeness and independence of a sentence, by assessing its potential for standing alone, as a complete utterance."
(D. J. Allerton. "Essentials of Grammatical Theory." Routledge, 1979)

Two-Part Definition of a Sentence

Stanley Fish felt that a sentence can only be defined in two parts:

"A sentence is a structure of logical relationships. In its bare form, this proposition is hardly edifying, which is why I immediately supplement it with a simple exercise. 'Here,' I say, 'are five words randomly chosen; turn them into a sentence.' (The first time I did this the words were coffee, should, book, garbage and quickly .) In no time at all I am presented with 20 sentences, all perfectly coherent and all quite different. Then comes the hard part. 'What is it,' I ask, 'that you did? What did it take to turn a random list of words into a sentence?' A lot of fumbling and stumbling and false starts follow, but finally someone says, 'I put the words into a relationship with one another.'...Well, my bottom line can be summarized in two statements: (1) a sentence is an organization of items in the world; and (2) a sentence is a structure of logical relationships."
(Stanley Fish, "Devoid of Content." The New York Times , May 31, 2005. Also "How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One." HarperCollins, 2011)

The Lighter Side of Sentences

Some authors a humorous view of a sentence:

"One day the Nouns were clustered in the street. An adjective walked by, with her dark beauty. The Nouns were struck, moved, changed. The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence..."
(Kenneth Koch, "Permanently." Published in "The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch." Borzoi Books, 2005)
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Sentence - Meaning, Definition, Types and Examples

A sentence is a combination of words put together to convey an idea, a fact, a question, a thought, a request or a command. Does that mean that you can assemble words in any order? Will it still be a sentence? No! Learn what a sentence is and how they are formed in this article. Furthermore, go through the components of a sentence, the types of sentences , and the given examples to understand how they are structured.

Table of Contents

What is a sentence – meaning and definition, parts of a sentence, components of a sentence, types of sentences, punctuation of sentences, examples of sentences, check your understanding of sentences and their formation, frequently asked questions on sentences in english.

A sentence is an array of multiple words arranged in a particular order. It has to be complete in itself and should convey meaning. It can express a general idea, pose a question or argument, provide a suggestion, make an order or request, and so much more.

The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines a sentence as “a set of words expressing a statement, a question or an order, usually containing a subject and a verb”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a sentence is defined as “a group of words, usually containing a verb, that expresses a thought in the form of a statement, question, instruction, or exclamation”.

Formation of Sentences in English

When constructing sentences, you have to follow a particular word order . They consist of words , phrases and clauses that have to be arranged sequentially in order to make sense. In most cases, the subject with or without the determiner comes first, followed by the verb.

Let us look at the parts and components of a sentence and understand further how sentences are formed.

The basic division of sentences is in terms of,

  • Subjects – A  noun , noun phrase or pronoun that does the action mentioned in the sentence. It mostly occurs at the beginning of the sentence.
  • Predicates – The remaining part of the sentence. It begins with the verb .

Here are a few examples.

Example 1: Daisy teaches English.

Subject – Daisy

Predicate – Teaches English

Example 2: Anitha called me yesterday.

Subject – Anitha

Predicate – Called me yesterday

Example 3: The girl wearing the yellow dress is my new neighbour.

Subject – The girl wearing the yellow dress

Predicate – Is my new neighbour

There are five components that can make up a sentence. They are,

  • Subject – The doer of the action
  • Verb – The action in the sentence
  • Object – The receiver of the action
  • Complement -A word/ phrase that modifies the subject or object in the sentence
  • Adjunct – An adverb or an adverb clause that provides us with more information about the verb, complement or another adjunct in the sentence

While most sentences contain a subject and a verb, there are sentences that start with a verb.

Go through the article on sentence structure to learn the different ways in which sentences can be constructed.

Sentences can be classified into types based on two aspects – their function and their structure. They are categorised into four types based on their function and into three based on their structure. Assertive/declarative , interrogative , imperative and exclamatory sentences are the four types of sentences. The three types of sentences, according to the latter classification, are simple , complex and compound sentences .

Let us look at each of these in detail.

  • An assertive/declarative sentence is one that states a general fact, a habitual action, or a universal truth.  For example, ‘Today is Wednesday.’
  • An imperative sentence is used to give a command or make a request. Unlike the other three types of sentences, imperative sentences do not always require a subject; they can start with a verb. For example, ‘Turn off the lights and fans when you leave the class.’
  • An interrogative sentence asks a question. For example, ‘Where do you stay?’
  • An exclamatory sentence expresses sudden emotions or feelings. For example, ‘What a wonderful sight!’

Now, let us learn what simple, compound and complex sentences are. This categorisation is made based on the nature of clauses in the sentence.

  • Simple sentences contain just one independent clause . For instance, ‘The dog chased the little wounded bird.’
  • Compound sentences have two independent clauses joined together by a coordinating conjunction . For instance, ‘I like watching Marvel movies, but my friend likes watching DC movies.’
  • Complex sentences have an independent clause and a dependent clause connected by a subordinating conjunction .  For example, ‘Though we were tired, we played another game of football.’
  • Complex-compound sentences have two independent clauses and a dependent clause. For instance, ‘Although we knew it would rain, we did not carry an umbrella, so we got wet.’

The punctuation of a sentence depends on the type of sentence. One rule that applies to all sentences is the capitalisation of the first letter of every new sentence. The end of sentences is marked by punctuation marks such as a full stop , a question mark or an exclamation mark . A full stop is used at the end of assertive sentences and imperative sentences. Interrogative sentences end with a question mark, and exclamatory sentences end with an exclamation mark.

While these are the basic punctuation rules, other punctuation marks like commas and semicolons are found between different clauses in compound and complex sentences. When you list something, you will have to separate them with commas. When you want to provide a list, introduce them with a short sentence and a colon to indicate the list.

Go through the article on punctuation and capital letters in English to learn more about punctuation sentences.

  • What are you doing?
  • I am feeling sleepy.
  • This game is interesting.
  • Do not go that way.
  • That really hurt!
  • When is the next train to Hospet?
  • We could not witness the sunset because we reached late.
  • Though we had some discomfort, we enjoyed ourselves.
  • Children generally like playing outdoor games.
  • Scarlet and Nini are best friends.

You can go through simple English sentences for more examples.

Unjumble the following sentences to form meaningful sentences. Also, punctuate them appropriately.

1. student/a/heera/grade/fourth/is

2. way/we/which/take/lotus/to/should/the/mahal/reach

3. was/mom/she/us/although/my/keeping/cooked/all/well/of/not/for


5. morning/i/up/chirping/woke/this/of/listening/the/birds/to/the

6. be/and/8/wake/ready/early/before/up

7. novel/the/small/arundhati/things/won/prize/1997/god/in/of/a/roy/the/booker

8. your/when/moms/is/birthday

9. you/are/there/multiple/choose/for/options/from/to

10. play/do/games/you/indoor/any

Check out the answers given below to evaluate if you formed and punctuated the sentences correctly.

1. Heera is a fourth-grade student.

2. Which way should we take to reach the Lotus Mahal?

3. Although my mom was not keeping well, she cooked for all of us.

4. Is there a hospital nearby?

5. I woke up this morning listening to the chirping of the birds.

6. Wake up early and be ready before 8.

7. ‘The God of Small Things’, a novel by Arundhati Roy, won the Booker Prize in 1997.

8. When is your mom’s birthday?

9. There are multiple options for you to choose from.

10. Do you play any indoor games?

What is a sentence?

What are the types of sentences.

Assertive/declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory sentences are the four types of sentences based on function. The three types of sentences, according to their structure, are simple, complex and compound sentences.

How are sentences punctuated?

Every new sentence should begin with a capital letter. A full stop, question mark or exclamation mark is used at the end of the sentence based on the type of sentence it is.

Give 5 examples of sentences.

  • Listin is my uncle.
  • Basheer has been working as a teacher for fifteen years.
  • Madhav was sick, so he did not go on the trip.
  • They have been waiting for Ayisha.
  • Sharvat was my student.

a meaning of sentence

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Course: Grammar   >   Unit 8

What is a sentence.

  • Three types of sentences
  • Declarative, interrogative, and imperative sentences
  • Exclamations

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What is a Sentence?

What is a sentence?

In simple terms, a sentence is a set of words that contain:

  • a subject (what the sentence is about, the topic of the sentence), and
  • a predicate (what is said about the subject)

Look at this simple example:

The above example sentence is very short. Of course, a sentence can be longer and more complicated, but basically there is always a subject and a predicate. Look at this longer example:

Note that the predicate always contains a verb. Sometimes, in fact, the predicate is only a verb:

So we can say that a sentence must contain at least a subject and verb .

There is one apparent exception to this – the imperative. When someone gives a command (the imperative), they usually do not use a subject. They don't say the subject because it is obvious - the subject is YOU! Look at these examples of the imperative, with and without a subject:

Note that a sentence expresses a complete thought . Here are some examples of complete and incomplete thoughts:

Note also that a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop ( AmE period) or a question mark or an exclamation mark ( AmE exclamation point). Look at these examples:

  • P eople need food .
  • H ow are you ?
  • L ook out !

Recommended Links

  • Cambridge Dictionary
  • Daily Writing Tips
  • Sentence (linguistics) - Wikipedia

Contributor: Josef Essberger


Auxiliary verb, abbreviation.

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Definition of of

 (Entry 1 of 3)

Definition of of  (Entry 2 of 3)

Definition of OF  (Entry 3 of 3)


  • afore [ chiefly dialect ]
  • fore [ chiefly dialect ]
  • 'fore
  • previous to

Examples of of in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'of.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Middle English, off, of, from Old English, adverb & preposition; akin to Old High German aba off, away, Latin ab from, away, Greek apo

Auxiliary verb

by alteration

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Auxiliary Verb

circa 1800, in the meaning defined above

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“Of.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/of. Accessed 15 Feb. 2024.

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History | February 9, 2024

Why Is the Year of the Dragon Considered So Lucky?

The only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon has long been associated with prosperity and imperial power

An illustration of Chinese dragons

Catherine Duncan

Staff Contributor

A camel’s head, a deer’s horns and a demon’s eyes. A bull’s ears, a snake’s neck and a clam’s belly. A carp’s scales, an eagle’s claws and a tiger’s paws. Pieced together, these disparate physical features yield an illustrious creature of Chinese legend: the dragon.

Believed to soar through the waters and heavens as a nature deity ruling over the rains, the dragon is a dominant figure in Chinese mythology, perched at the center of longstanding creation tales . Ancient legends depict the mythical being, called long in Chinese, descending to the ground with the fog and rising out of the ocean with the sun, moving the seasons in its wake. Initially a vague motif in ancient Chinese art, the dragon is now an emblem of benevolent divinity, imperial power and sweeping unity. Its symbolism builds on thousands of years of folklore and Chinese history. And, as the only mythological animal in the Chinese zodiac system , the dragon takes on yet another layer of meaning.

A Zhou dynasty wine vessel featuring a depiction of a dragon

The Chinese zodiac consists of 12 animals—the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig—that alternate every Lunar New Year . Though the timing of the Lunar New Year changes based on cycles of the moon, the celebration generally falls between January 21 and February 20, beginning with the second new moon after the winter solstice. Every Lunar New Year, a new zodiac animal takes over the reins of fate. Its character guides the course of the year, and individuals born under its sign are said to adopt its behavior, character traits and compatibility standards.

Arriving fifth in the sequence, the dragon is the most potent—and most desired —zodiac symbol. It “catalyzes all the powers of nine animals and is therefore considered very supreme,” says Richard E. Strassberg , an expert on Chinese culture and the author of A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures From the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas . “There [is] an overwhelming mixture of respect and hope in invoking the dragon’s powers.”

When the Year of the Dragon arrives, birth rates in China tend to boom. Many parents believe that a child born during this year, a lucky dragon baby , will be destined for success. Though this perception is often a self-fulfilling prophecy , with parents investing greater resources in their dragon child, the extraordinary expectations surrounding the zodiac creature speak to its deep associations with intelligence, authority and good fortune. This year, the dragon will take the helm from the rabbit on February 10, ushering in a long-anticipated period of prosperity unique to the mythical being.

A 16th-century Ming dragon medallion

The birth of the zodiac

The 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle has ancient origins, but exactly when it became associated with specific animal symbols is subject to debate. Zodiac creatures are represented in artifacts and depicted in Chinese literature as early as the Warring States period, which spanned 475 to 221 B.C.E., and some scholars assert that a Chinese zodiac system has existed since the reign of Qin Shi Huang , the first Qin emperor, who ruled immediately after that period. But the classification scheme was only widely adopted during the Han dynasty, which presided over China from 206 B.C.E. to 220 C.E. “The system that included these 12 animals continues to be developed and represented, and [it] evolved in connection with folklore from then on,” says Strassberg.

The accompanying zodiac legend varies across Buddhist and Taoist belief systems, but the overarching narrative remains relatively consistent. In it, a deity often identified as the Jade Emperor calls upon all animals to participate in a race. The first 12 animals to complete the course will be included in the zodiac calendar, with their position in the cycle determined by the order in which they arrive at the finish line.

Illustration of the Chinese zodiac

Each zodiac animal’s competition strategy is indicative of that sign’s traits. The rat, for instance, finishes in first place by convincing the ox to carry it across the river; it represents cunning and tenacity . The dragon, expected to easily prevail due to its powers of flight, stops halfway through the race to provide water to a drought-ridden village, immortalizing the animal as a symbol of selfless benevolence.

The zodiac also alternates between the five fundamental elements : wood, fire, earth, metal and water. This year, the dragon inhabits the wood element , which represents development and achievement.

Early forms in art

Long before it was imbued with symbolic meaning in the zodiac and beyond, the dragon was an ambiguous silhouette adorning art forms—a sheer convention of imagination , says J. Keith Wilson , curator of ancient Chinese art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art . The Chinese word for dragon has been in use since the Bronze Age, and “a creature called the dragon has been in the Chinese art vocabulary for thousands of years,” says Wilson.

Representations of dragons are etched into divination inscriptions and reflected in the shape of ritual bronze vessels unearthed in Anyang , the capital of the Shang dynasty. (An ongoing exhibition at the museum, “ Anyang: China’s Ancient City of Kings ,” examines the city’s archaeological riches through a display of more than 200 artifacts.) “For more than a thousand years before the advent of symbolic designs—roughly the length of the Chinese Bronze Age—the dragon flourished in art without a set of specific associations,” wrote Wilson in a 1990 journal article .

Group of ritual wine pouring vessels

The commanding version of the dragon seen today only emerged during the Han dynasty, when “this notion of mythological creatures being composite [creations] with aspects of different living forms” gained popularity, says Wilson. The amalgamation “results from contact between China and Central and Western Asia,” he adds. This increased exposure “helps us understand why dragons before the Han dynasty look very different from dragons after the Han dynasty.”

Creatures of cosmology

The composite dragon wields extensive powers , says Strassberg, controlling rainfall, thunder, wind, tornadoes and storms. Though the creature’s influence lies mainly in the realm of water and weather, hundreds of iterations exist within Chinese culture, each with its own distinct mythology.

Historical texts offer a sense of this rich lore. Compiled between the fourth and first centuries B.C.E., the Shan Hai Jing features a dragon-headed deity that sends booms of thunder rollicking across the skies by using his stomach as a drum. (Strassberg’s Chinese Bestiary translates the Shan Hai Jing and provides additional cultural context on this collection of mythic geography.)

A mural depicting the Azure Dragon

The Shan Hai Jing also presents the dragon as one of the “ Four Symbols ” in Chinese astrology, which assigns a protector to each cardinal direction. The Azure Dragon rules over the east, a connection that Strassberg attributes to the rising of the sun in the sky in that direction, “just as dragons rise from the water toward the skies.” According to Wilson’s journal article, the Azure Dragon and its fellow protectors were “believed to be benign” guardians, their likenesses “often used to decorate palaces and public buildings.”

In the Huainanzi , a second-century B.C.E. text detailing the ideal structure of an empire, Prince Liu An writes that at the beginning of the universe, “dragons arose and phoenixes alighted.” When describing terrestrial properties of the planet, the prince claims that “the earthen dragon brings rain.” Liu An also tells of a fifth cardinal direction, the center of the world, represented by the Yellow Dragon .

According to Strassberg, the dragon is often ritually paired with the phoenix to maximize its auspicious qualities. The combination allows for perfect harmony between the dragon, associated with the active, masculine principle of yang, and the phoenix, linked to the passive, female principle of yin.

One of the best-known ancient Chinese legends centers on the nine sons of the dragon , among them Ya Zi, a bloodthirsty being who often appears on weapons, and Pu Lao, a roaring creature typically depicted atop of bells. Other types of dragons featured in Chinese folklore include the Celestial Dragon, the Spiritual Dragon, the Dragon of Hidden Treasures, the Dragon of the Underworld, the Winged Dragon, the Horned Dragon, the Coiling Dragon, the Yellow Dragon and the Dragon King, a Hindu deity that was later absorbed into the Buddhist pantheon.

One of the nine dragons depicted on a wall relief in China

A spiritual neighbor

Though the dragon was viewed as the “superior force in [the] cosmos,” it wasn’t just a vague allegorical deity, Strassberg says. Believed to dwell deep within oceans, lakes and rivers, the dragon was considered a neighbor, part of the larger spiritual population. “No one claimed to have directly captured or seen the dragons,” the scholar adds, “but they were believed to exist everywhere, and people could represent and depict them because they knew what animals came together to form their bodies.”

The dragon’s cultural significance was inextricably tied to China’s agricultural society . Farmers prayed to the creatures for good weather, erecting temples during droughts to implore the dragon to grant rain and fruitful harvests. “On a folklore level, there is a general view that dragons bring benefits and are inherently good,” Strassberg says.

In stark contrast to the fire-breathing, gold-hoarding dragons of medieval Europe , Chinese dragons were perceived as benevolent creatures. Though they lived peacefully among the population, they were still thought to be “very mysterious and unpredictable, [just] as the weather is,” says Strassberg. “Human beings would feel very minuscule in relation to the dragon’s power, and in general, there would not be a feeling of intimacy toward this powerful creature. They wouldn’t welcome an encounter.”

The emblem of the emperor

Beyond its enduring role in Chinese culture, the dragon played a crucial part in the consolidation of the Chinese imperial state.

Shiji , a monumental history compiled around 85 B.C.E. by Han dynasty court scribe and historian Sima Qian , states that the birth of the first Han emperor, Gaozu , was blessed by a dragon.

A Qing dynasty dragon robe featuring a five-clawed dragon

Sima Qian recounts the event in mystical fashion, writing :

Before he was born, [Gaozu’s mother] Dame Liu was one day resting on the bank of a large pond when she dreamed that she encountered a god. At this time, the sky grew dark and was filled with thunder and lightning. When Gaozu’s father went to look for her, he saw a scaly dragon over the place where she was lying. After this, she became pregnant and gave birth to Gaozu.

Gaozu is largely credited with laying the foundation of imperial China ’s ruling structure, and he is often said “to be descended in some way biologically [from] the dragon,” Strassberg notes. In chronicles of Gaozu’s rule such as Sima Qian’s, the dragon became inseparable from imperial authority and ascendancy. It also emerged as a unifying agent for ethnically Han Chinese people, many of whom now consider themselves “ descendants of the dragon .”

The supremely powerful dragon became “the emblem of the emperor,” says Strassberg. It was taboo to refer to this supreme leader directly, so dragons became a vehicle for honoring the emperor from a respectful distance .

Under later Chinese dynasties, among them the Yuan, Qing and Ming, only the emperor and other senior royals could wear garments depicting a dragon with five claws , representing ultimate authority over all five elements. Lower-ranking individuals were expected to wear robes featuring four-clawed dragons.

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“[The dragon’s] associations with mutability, with water, storms, male energy—all of those attributes evolve over time, and it’s very early on taken as a symbol for the imperial institution,” says Wilson. “Its use on imperial costume, for example, really cements the association of the dragon with power.”

In a departure from the loose artistic visualizations seen during the Bronze Age, the Chinese dragon has evolved into a concrete symbol of prosperity and power. The creature has shaped mythological conceptions of creation, played a key role in religious practices and adorned the clothing of the most powerful figures in imperial history. Its dynamic presence is felt throughout Chinese culture: Every Lunar New Year, traditional dragon dances featuring giant dragon puppets snake through clamoring crowds, bestowing luck on all those present. The upcoming Year of the Dragon is steeped in this historic symbolism, bringing with it thousands of years of meaning.

“In the end, the invisible dragon of nature is, ironically, the most real and tangible of all. After its deep winter slumber, this creator awakens in spring and rises to the sky to provide the earth with new life,” wrote Wilson. “In this context, the dragon is a pulsating force, the world’s activating agent.”

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Catherine Duncan

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Catherine Duncan is an intern with  Smithsonian magazine.

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sentence noun [C] ( WORD GROUP )

  • ' Bob ' is the subject of the sentence ' Bob threw the ball '.
  • In the sentence 'I wish I were rich ', the verb 'were' is in the subjunctive .
  • Sorry, could you just say that last sentence again please ?
  • 'He was released from prison , ' is a passive sentence.
  • In the sentence 'I sent Victoria a letter ', ' send ' is ditransitive .
  • asyndetically
  • backchannel
  • complex sentence
  • compound sentence
  • concessive clause
  • subsentence
  • to coin a phrase idiom

sentence noun [C] ( PUNISHMENT )

  • ankle bracelet
  • ball and chain
  • be brought/called to account idiom
  • endorsement
  • fixed penalty
  • flay someone alive idiom
  • get what's coming to you idiom
  • gross misconduct
  • skin someone alive idiom
  • someone should be shot idiom
  • sort something out
  • Her sentence was commuted from death to life imprisonment .
  • As it was her first conviction for stealing , she was given a less severe sentence.
  • In some countries , drug-smuggling still carries the death sentence.
  • The judge made an example of him and gave him the maximum possible sentence.
  • He won his appeal and the sentence was halved .
  • chief justice
  • circuit judge
  • court of inquiry
  • magistrate judge
  • nonjudicial

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Does copyright help artists? Not necessarily, say these writers.

‘who owns this sentence’ is a thorough and engaging history of copying and plagiarism, from virgil to taylor swift.

Before Claudine Gay, there was Virgil, Helen Keller, George Harrison and Taylor Swift.

Virgil’s “Aeneid” was attacked as plagiarizing Homer’s “Iliad.” Helen Keller stood accused of copying work that had been read to her aloud before she could read Braille. George Harrison was found guilty of “subconsciously” copying the Chiffons’ 1962 chart-topper, “He’s So Fine,” to make his 1970 hit, “My Sweet Lord.” More recently, Taylor Swift settled a copyright lawsuit alleging that she stole the lyrics “players gonna play … haters gonna hate,” the memorable riff in her 2014 megahit “Shake It Off.”

These examples — save for that of the ex-Beatle — plus scores more are explored in “ Who Owns This Sentence?: A History of Copyrights and Wrongs ,” a new book by David Bellos, a literature professor and translator at Princeton, and Alexandre Montagu, an intellectual-property lawyer. This encyclopedic yet refreshingly breezy book takes readers across time — from ancient honor codes policing plagiarism to the first modern copyright statutes, World Trade Organization rules and developments in copyright in China. The result is a compelling history of human creation, which for better or worse inevitably involves copying.

Do we need to save fiction from conglomerate publishing?

Today, artificial intelligence could use such an eloquent defender. This book may very well be it. Bellos and Montagu argue that “cryptomnesia,” a term psychologists coined for involuntary copying, is not a “mental disorder” but simply a part of how humans learn and create. The centuries-old stories and lessons in this book have implications for very modern questions, as creators sue companies like OpenAI for feeding their machines others’ content. Machine learning replicates human learning, to an exponential degree, mimicking how we from birth ingest knowledge from all around us.

Of course, a book that argues, essentially, that there are no new ideas under the sun must tread carefully. Indeed, this is not the first work to ring alarm bells about the creep of copyright into every corner of our lives, or to point out the pitfalls of requiring permissions and royalties to create new works. Siva Vaidhyanathan’s “Copyrights and Copywrongs” (2001) and James Boyle’s “The Public Domain” (2008) cover similar territory.

Still, “Who Owns This Sentence?” is a welcome and timely addition to our understanding of this complex issue, particularly of the political economy of copyright. Though invisible to most people, copyright, the authors point out, is the legal matrix underlying the wealth of nations today, with copyrights in design, software and popular culture accounting for nearly all the valuation of “six of the largest corporations in the world — Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Meta and Disney.” The lesser-known and abstract law of copyright, they reveal, is “the world’s greatest money machine” and the engine of contemporary empires, funneling billions in royalties from poor to rich countries.

‘Filterworld’ says algorithms are destroying your sense of taste

The authors spend considerable time recounting how copyright proliferated without rigorous public debate. They also debunk the myth that copyright helps artists. To the contrary, they write, “most copyrights of commercial value now belong not to artists, but to corporations.” The authors bemoan that, to play the music of Bruce Springsteen, generations will pay royalties not to the artist but to Sony Corp., which bought the copyrights in the Boss’s work for more than half a billion dollars.

In their efforts to warn about the harms of copyright overprotection, Bellos and Montagu at times miss out on explaining important ways in which copyright is a sophisticated instrument for handling complex disputes. Plagiarism is a case in point. Moralistic honor codes often indiscriminately decry the mere repetition of words. Copyright makes finer distinctions, protecting original expression of an idea (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”) but not underlying ideas and facts. And copyright recognizes that sometimes there are just a few effective ways of expressing an idea — like when explaining the rules of a game — and law does not preclude copying in those situations.

In short, archaic honor codes policing plagiarism moralize without much room for nuance. Copyright’s modern approach of built-in limitations and exceptions is, in the Supreme Court’s words, “ the engine of free expression .”

But Bellos and Montagu are absolutely right that, though well-meaning, copyright has become a monstrous Frankenstein that is now out of control. Copyright started in early 18th-century Britain to wrest control of printing from the Crown and monopolistic publishers. It gave a limited property right to authors to spur new works that would promote learning among the public. The first copyrights lasted for a maximum of 28 years and were limited in scope. Today, copyright covers not only literature, film, photography and music, but also video games, software, architecture, choreography, kitsch and ephemera, from stripes on cheerleading uniforms to adult banana costumes. And copyrights endure for the life of the author plus another 70 years.

The plagiarism allegations against ex-Harvard president Claudine Gay, explained

While the book does a nice job discussing the excesses of copyright, it does not explore emergent claims of cultural appropriation by traditionally disempowered creators, many of whom seek copyrights themselves. A new case brought against Martha Stewart by an employee alleging theft of her cranberry nut torte recipe is one example. Academic plagiarism cases raise the question of how much of a scholar’s published work is the fruit of uncredited research assistants. A recent Supreme Court decision finding that Andy Warhol has no “celebrity-plagiarist privilege” against a lesser-known female photographer whose photograph he appropriated brings claims of fairness and power front and center. Creators suing AI companies echo the language of fairness and livelihood. How do we reconcile these reparative claims with the necessity of copying to promote speech and culture?

The authors weave in and out of various intellectual-property domains. A careful reader will need to pay attention to the distinctions between trademark, patent and copyright. For instance, it’s possible that even if a particular action does not violate one area of intellectual-property law, it may violate another. To take one recent example, even though the earliest images of Mickey Mouse finally entered the public domain at the start of this year , those depictions could still be protected by trademark, so long as the iconic mouse signals Disney.

But these are quibbles in a book that grapples with some of the biggest and most challenging questions of our time. Which approach to copying will resolve the greatest copyright question of the 21st century, over the future of AI? An archaic, moralistic approach that extracts tolls from every person and machine that has learned from another creator? Or a balanced approach that recognizes, in Mark Twain’s prophetic words, that “the kernel, the soul … of virtually all human utterances is plagiarism?”

Madhavi Sunder is the Frank Sherry professor of intellectual-property law at Georgetown University Law Center and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Who Owns This Sentence?

A History of Copyrights and Wrongs

By David Bellos and Alexandre Montagu

W.W. Norton. 384 pp. $28.99

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

a meaning of sentence

What is Ash Wednesday? Here’s what to know about the holy day marking the beginning of Lent

a meaning of sentence

Lent is a 40-day season of prayer, fasting and giving that Catholics and some other Christian denominations observe as a time of repentance and closeness to God in preparation for the day of Christ's resurrection, celebrated on Easter .

Ash Wednesday is the kickoff of that season that is one of five on the Catholic liturgical calendar, along with Advent, Christmas, Easter, and Ordinary Time .

That means you may see someone walking around with an ash cross on their forehead this Wednesday. Don't try to clean their forehead: Here's what it means and why the day figures so prominently in the Lenten season.

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the liturgical season of Lent that falls six and half weeks before Easter each year.

Members of the Catholic Church ages 18 to 59 are required to observe Lent and fast on Ash Wednesday, starting at 14-years-old.

Ash Wednesday dates back to the 11th century, according to the Vatican , but the tradition of marking one's forward with ashes is rooted in the ancient Hebrew custom of "clothing oneself in sackcloth and dusting oneself with ashes as a sign of penance," according to Hallow , an app for Catholic prayer and meditation.

When is Ash Wednesday 2024?

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 14.

Why is Ash Wednesday important?

Ash Wednesday places Catholics and other denominations of faith in the place of Jesus’ entry into the desert before His death. It is a symbolic turning of one's heart towards God, recognizing the brokenness that exists and the need for salvation.

"Ash Wednesday is the perfect opportunity for us all to recommit to many of the things we know we need to do," Hallow CEO Alex Jones said.

For some, it could mean prayer and meditation, Jones added. For others, it could look like fasting food or social media.

"It might be serving at a local shelter or being more generous in our giving. Whatever it is, Lent is the perfect time to take just 40 days and commit to it," Jones said.

What do the ashes symbolize?

The ashes symbolize our mortality.

On Ash Wednesday, you may see neighbors walking around with ash crosses on their foreheads.

During mass on this day, priests will add crosses made of ashes to foreheads reminding Catholics, but you do not need to be Catholic to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. Other Christian denominations and even those disconnected from traditions of faith, sometimes observe.

When is Easter 2024? How its date is determined each year and why some celebrate.

Can you eat meat on Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the only two days of fasting and abstinence required by the Catholic Church, though Catholics are encouraged to abstain from meat on Fridays during the 40-day season of Lent.

Christ fasted in the desert for 40 days leading up to His death and resurrection, so believers choose to fast as well according to their own conviction in the days leading up to Easter. Fasting, just like ashes, is a sign of repentance and aims to stir up a spiritual hunger.

What is Lent?

Just as the four-week season of Advent prepares believers for Jesus’s birth at Christmas, the 40-day season of Lent prepares believers for Jesus' death and resurrection at Easter.

This time of sacrifice and repentance prepares the heart to receive the reconciliation that Christ offers. An individual gets to choose what they'd like to give up during the time of Lent, as Jones shared.

When does Lent start and end?

This year, Lent starts on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14) and ends on either March 29, Good Friday, or on March 30, " Holy Saturday ," the day before Easter, depending on the denomination.

Jennifer Crumbley guilty: Understanding involuntary manslaughter charge, possible sentence

a meaning of sentence

The crime of involuntary manslaughter under which Jennifer Crumbley was held criminally responsible for the deaths of four children her son murdered is the lowest category of homicide.

Involuntary manslaughter is defined as an unintentional killing that results from either recklessness or gross negligence. It does not require premeditation or intent.

In Crumbley's case, prosecutors had to prove that she engaged in gross negligence, which means she may not have been aware of the risk she was creating, but reasonably should have been aware of it.

Her son Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty to murdering four students and injuring seven other people during a rampage at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. He used a gun his father took him to buy that Black Friday — four days before the shooting.

The shooter's mother was convicted Tuesday of four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of  Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17 . Crumbley's husband, James, faces trial in March on identical charges.

The two definitions of involuntary manslaughter

There are two definitions of involuntary manslaughter, or more specifically, two theories under which it can be proven.

The first type of involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone recklessly or negligently commits an act that results in the death of another. Recklessness typically means a person was aware of the risk that they were creating, while negligence usually means the person is unaware, but reasonably should have been aware.

Another definition of involuntary manslaughter involves a failure to perform a duty, thereby causing the death of another.

What Jennifer Crumbley's jury had to determine

Both of these theories were presented to jurors in the Crumbley case. Specifically, here is what the jury had to decide that prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That Crumbley caused the deaths of four students by engaging in gross negligence. That she did it as a result of storing a gun and its ammunition in a manner that allowed her minor son to access the gun and ammo and use it to kill four people.
  • Or the mother caused the deaths of four students by failing to perform a legal duty.

The prosecution had to prove that she had a legal duty to the victims and that she failed to perform that parental duty as defined under Michigan law, which says parents have a must exercise reasonable care to control their minor children and to prevent them from intentionally harming others.

This form of involuntary manslaughter is tougher to prove as it involves proving these key elements:

  • That the parent knows or has a reason to know that they have the ability to control their minor child.
  • That the parent is aware of the necessity and opportunity for exercising such control — in other words, Crumbley knew her son was mentally ill and should have gotten him help, but did not, but rather bought him a gun instead. Proving this required that it was reasonably foreseeable that her son may shoot up his school when she sent him back to class after being summoned over a troubling drawing he had made on the morning of the shooting. It included a gun, and the words: "The thoughts won't stop. Help me."
  • That the parent willfully neglected to perform that duty, and by failing to do so was grossly negligent to human life. In other words, Crumbley willfully ignored her parental duties to control her son, and therefore caused the deaths of the four students killed in the 2021 Oxford High School massacre.

Jennifer Crumbley sentencing date

Crumbley faces up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced on April 9 for her crimes. Her husband, James, goes to trial in March for identical charges.

Tresa Baldas: [email protected]


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  1. Sentence Definition & Meaning

    1 : to impose a sentence on 2 : to cause to suffer something sentenced these most primitive cultures to extinction E. W. Count Synonyms Noun doom


    a punishment given by a judge in court to a person or organization after they have been found guilty of doing something wrong: He got a heavy / light sentence (= he was severely /not severely punished). The offence carries a jail / prison / life /five-year sentence. He was given a non-custodial/ suspended sentence. pronounce sentence

  3. SENTENCE Definition & Usage Examples

    noun Grammar. a grammatical unit of one or more words that expresses an independent statement, question, request, command, exclamation, etc., and that typically has a subject as well as a predicate, as in John is here. or Is John here?

  4. What is a sentence?

    A sentence is a set of words that is complete in itself, typically containing a subject and predicate, conveying a statement, question, exclamation, or command, and consisting of a main clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses. Oxford Dictionary Table of Contents The Four Types of Sentence The Four Sentence Structures

  5. SENTENCE definition and meaning

    In a law court, a sentence is the punishment that a person receives after they have been found guilty of a crime . They are already serving prison sentences for their part in the assassination. He was given a four-year sentence. The offences carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. ...demands for tougher sentences.

  6. Sentence

    Definitions of sentence noun a string of words satisfying the grammatical rules of a language "he always spoke in grammatical sentences " see more noun (criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed synonyms: condemnation, conviction, judgment of conviction see more noun

  7. What is a Sentence? (Definition, Examples, Grammar)

    A sentence is a group of words that conveys an idea. Every word in a sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with either a period, question mark, or exclamation mark. The basic structure of a sentence ideally contains a subject and a verb. What is a sentence? What is a sentence?

  8. Sentence Definition and Examples in English Grammar

    The sentence is traditionally (and inadequately) defined as a word or group of words that expresses a complete idea and that includes a subject and a verb . Types of Sentence Structures The four basic sentence structures are the: Simple: A sentence with only one independent clause.

  9. Sentence Definition & Meaning

    : to officially state the punishment given to (someone) by a court of law The defendant was sentenced and fined. — usually + to The judge sentenced him to prison. — sentencing / ˈsɛntn̩sɪŋ/ noun [noncount] He will return to the court on Wednesday for sentencing.

  10. Sentence

    1. (Linguistics) a sequence of words capable of standing alone to make an assertion, ask a question, or give a command, usually consisting of a subject and a predicate containing a finite verb 2. (Law) the judgment formally pronounced upon a person convicted in criminal proceedings, esp the decision as to what punishment is to be imposed

  11. Sentence

    According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a sentence is defined as "a group of words, usually containing a verb, that expresses a thought in the form of a statement, question, instruction, or exclamation". Formation of Sentences in English When constructing sentences, you have to follow a particular word order.

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  13. What Is A Sentence?

    In simple terms, a sentence is a set of words that contain: a subject (what the sentence is about, the topic of the sentence), and. a predicate (what is said about the subject) Look at this simple example: sentence. subject.

  14. Sentence Structure: Definition and Examples

    Sentence structure is the order of all the parts in a sentence: subject, predicate, objects, phrases, punctuation, etc. It deals a lot with independent and dependent clauses and how they combine (explained below), the placement of words and phrases next to what they modify, as well as the use of proper grammar. Basic parts of a sentence

  15. All the Common Types of Sentences, Explained

    An imperative sentence is a sentence that gives the reader advice, instructions, a command or makes a request. An imperative sentence can end in either a period or an exclamation point, depending on the urgency of the sentiment being expressed. Imperative sentences include: Get off my lawn! After the timer dings, take the cookies out of the oven.

  16. Simple Sentence: Meaning and Examples

    A simple sentence consists of just one independent clause —a group of words that contains at least one subject and at least one verb and can stand alone as a complete sentence—with no dependent clauses. Here are some examples of simple sentences, with the simple subjects and verbs in bold: My partner loves to hike.

  17. Of Definition & Meaning

    1 used as a function word to indicate a point of reckoning north of the lake 2 a used as a function word to indicate origin or derivation a man of noble birth b used as a function word to indicate the cause, motive, or reason died of flu c : by plays of Shakespeare d : on the part of very kind of you e : occurring in a fish of the western Atlantic

  18. Sentence Examples

    Sometimes to understand a word's meaning you need more than a definition; you need to see the word used in a sentence. At YourDictionary, we give you the tools to learn what a word means and how to use it correctly. With this sentence maker, simply type a word in the search bar and see a variety of sentences with that word used in its different ...

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    Rewordify.com is powerful, free, online software that improves reading, learning, and teaching. This site can: Intelligently simplify difficult English, for faster comprehension; Effectively teach words, for building a better vocabulary; Help teachers save time and produce engaging lessons; Help improve learning outcomes; Rewordify.com's amazing features have helped millions of people read ...

  20. How To Use "Meaning That" In A Sentence: Breaking Down Usage

    In order to use "meaning that" correctly, it is important to pay attention to the structure and syntax of your sentence. Here are a few key grammatical rules to keep in mind: Placement: The phrase "meaning that" is typically used to introduce or clarify a specific meaning or explanation. It is commonly placed after a comma or a colon ...

  21. Why Is the Year of the Dragon Considered So Lucky?

    Long before it was imbued with symbolic meaning in the zodiac and beyond, the dragon was an ambiguous silhouette adorning art forms—a sheer convention of imagination, says J. Keith Wilson ...


    a punishment given by a judge in court to a person or organization after they have been found guilty of doing something wrong: He got a heavy / light sentence (= he was severely /not severely punished). The offense carries a jail / prison / life /five-year sentence. He was given a non-custodial/ suspended sentence. pronounce sentence

  23. What Is a Complex Sentence? (With Examples)

    What is a complex sentence? A complex sentence is a sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. It works best when you need to provide more information to explain or modify your sentence's main point. Complex sentences are easy to spot as they often use subordinating conjunctions like because, since, or until to ...

  24. Who Owns This Sentence? by David Bellos and Alexandre Montagu review

    "Who Owns This Sentence?" is a thorough and engaging history of copying and plagiarism, from Virgil to Taylor Swift. ... But Bellos and Montagu are absolutely right that, though well-meaning ...

  25. Ash Wednesday 2024: What is it? What is Lent? Explaining the holiday

    "Ash Wednesday is the perfect opportunity for us all to recommit to many of the things we know we need to do," Hallow CEO Alex Jones said. For some, it could mean prayer and meditation, Jones added.

  26. Business Analyst Job Description (With Examples)

    Example 1. Technical Business Analyst at DriveCentric. The above job description for a Technical Business Analyst relates to software analysis and includes several of the key functions of a ...

  27. Involuntary manslaughter sentence: Jail time Jennifer Crumbley faces

    Jennifer Crumbley sentencing date. Crumbley faces up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced on April 9 for her crimes. Her husband, James, goes to trial in March for identical charges. Tresa ...