Basic Sentence Patterns In English

Every language uses certain structures or sentence patterns to express ideas. English is no different. In this section we shall consider some of the basic sentence patterns in English.

Let’s + Bare infinitive

This structure is used for making suggestions.

  • Let’s go.
  • Let’s wait.
  • Let’s start.
  • Let’s stop.
  • Let’s stop criticizing others.
  • Let’s do something.

Let’s + have + noun

This structure is used for making suggestions.

  • Let’s have a drink.
  • Let’s have something to eat.
  • Let’s have a chat.

Used to + bare infinitive

This structure is used to talk about past habits or things that used to happen continuously or frequently during a period in the past.

  • He used to play football in his youth.
  • I used to read a lot.
  • They used to visit us every week.
  • He used to smoke.

Be + used to + gerund/noun

This structure is used to talk about something that you are familiar with so that it no longer seems new or strange to you.

  • I am used to waiting for buses.
  • We are used to working long hours.
  • Eventually he got used to the smells and sounds of the city.

Needn’t + Bare infinitive

This structure is used to say that something is/was not necessary. The structure ‘need + bare infinitive’ is used to ask if something is/was necessary.

  • You needn’t pay for that call.
  • We needn’t go.
  • You needn’t work this hard.
  • Need I come tomorrow?
  • Need we foot the bill?
  • Need we reserve seats in advance?

Had better + bare infinitive

This structure is used to tell someone what you think they should do.

  • You had better ask his permission.
  • You had better consult a doctor.
  • We had better wait until tomorrow.
  • She had better obey him.

Feel + Adjective

This structure is used to talk about physical or emotional experiences.

  • I feel tired.
  • I feel sleepy.
  • They felt satisfied.
  • I feel bored.

Feel like + gerund (-ing form)

This structure is used to talk about a desire for something.

  • I feel like having a drink. (= I want to have a drink.)
  • She felt like crying. (= She wanted to cry.)
  • I don’t feel like talking to her. (= I don’t want to talk to her.)

Going to + bare infinitive

Going to shows intention. If you are going to do something, you intend to do it in the future.

  • I am going to get a good job. (= I intend to get a good job.)
  • He is going to resign. (= He intends to resign.)
  • She is going to have a word with her boss.

That + Adjective

This structure shows degree. It is used to say that something is as good/bad/boring/great/expensive/tiring etc., as the speaker suggests. Here that means very.

  • She is that beautiful. (= She is extremely beautiful.)
  • The film is that boring. (= It is as boring as you can probably imagine.)
  • It is not that good. (= not very good)
  • It is not that expensive. (= I expected it to be quite expensive, but it was not.)
image_pdfimage_print

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *