Ch 7: Sentence Structure & Mechanics

About This Chapter

Use this chapter to prepare for CAHSEE English language arts questions covering sentence structure and punctuation. The video lessons and quizzes can help you review rules for independent and dependent clauses, singular and plural verbs, conjunctions and more.

Sentence Structure & Mechanics - Chapter Summary

If you're studying for the English language arts section of the CAHSEE, this chapter can be used brush up on sentence structure and mechanics rules as well as commonly confused words, homophones and homonyms. Video lessons cover these topics and more:

  • Independent and dependent clauses
  • Sentence fragments, comma splices and run-on sentences
  • Subject and object pronouns
  • Verb tense and subject-verb agreement
  • Inverted order, compound subjects and interrupting phrases
  • Coordinating and correlative conjunctions
  • Parallel and mixed structure sentences
  • Direct and indirect objects
  • Capitalization and punctuation rules

This chapter includes plenty of resources you can use to practice working with the conventions of English grammar. There are illustrated video lessons and transcripts that allow you to skip ahead or go back to the main ideas as well as self-assessment quizzes with multiple-choice questions similar to those appearing on the exam.

Sentence Structure & Mechanics - Objectives

Passing scores on the English language arts portion of the CAHSEE are among the requirements for a high school diploma in California. The exam's Written and Oral English Language Conventions section includes 15 out of the 72 total multiple-choice questions and is designed to assess your command of sentence structure and construction, punctuation and syntax.

You can use the lessons included in this chapter to prepare for questions that ask you to select the grammatically correct option from among a list of sentences or chose the right pronoun, adjective or other part of speech to complete a statement.

25 Lessons in Chapter 7: Sentence Structure & Mechanics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination

1. Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination

This lesson is about independent and dependent clauses, and how they make up a sentence. Dependent clauses, like the name suggests, rely on other elements in a sentence. Independent clauses, on the other hand, can stand alone. Learn more in this lesson.

Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences

2. Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences

Sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences are grammatical and stylistic bugs that can seriously derail an otherwise polished academic paper. Learn how to identify and eliminate these errors in your own writing here.

How to Identify the Subject of a Sentence

3. How to Identify the Subject of a Sentence

Don't pass over this lesson! You may think you know how to find subjects and verbs in a sentence, but picking them out can be harder than you think. Identifying subjects and verbs is the first step to unlocking nearly everything else about English composition.

Selecting Subject & Object Pronouns: Rules & Examples

4. Selecting Subject & Object Pronouns: Rules & Examples

Discover the difference and usefulness of two different types of pronouns. Learn how to use subject pronouns and object pronouns effectively in writing.

Subject-Verb Agreement: Using Uncommon Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns

5. Subject-Verb Agreement: Using Uncommon Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns

Subject-verb agreement is a tricky beast. Learn which uncommon singular and plural nouns and pronouns are most likely to trip you up when trying to craft essays with good grammar.

Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement

6. Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement

Learn all about verb tense and subject-verb agreement in our first lesson on this tricky topic. We'll look at examples to help you understand this concept.

Complex Subject-Verb Agreement: Inverted Order, Compound Subjects & Interrupting Phrases

7. Complex Subject-Verb Agreement: Inverted Order, Compound Subjects & Interrupting Phrases

Learn how subject-verb agreement is essential to written language. Three common problems with subject-verb agreement are discussed with tips for avoiding the most common errors.

Conjunctions: Coordinating & Correlative

8. Conjunctions: Coordinating & Correlative

Conjunctions are parts of speech that join together other words, phrases and clauses in sentences. Learn all about two types of conjunctions - coordinating and correlative - in this lesson.

Combining Dependent & Independent Clauses

9. Combining Dependent & Independent Clauses

Clauses are a great mystery to many people when dealing with our written language. Watch this video lesson to discover clauses and also to learn how to combine clauses correctly.

Parallelism: How to Write and Identify Parallel Sentences

10. Parallelism: How to Write and Identify Parallel Sentences

Sentences that aren't parallel sound funny, even if they look perfectly correct at first glance. Learn what makes a sentence parallel, how to revise a sentence to make it parallel, and how to write beautiful, balanced sentences of your own.

Sentence Structure: Identify and Avoid 'Mixed Structure' Sentences

11. Sentence Structure: Identify and Avoid 'Mixed Structure' Sentences

A mixed structure sentence is a common error that occurs when a writer starts a sentence with one structure but switches to a different structure in the middle of the sentence. This video will teach you how to spot and avoid this type of error.

Who, Whom, Whose & Who's

12. Who, Whom, Whose & Who's

Many people misuse 'who', 'whom,' 'whose' and 'who's.' Watch this video lesson to not only learn the difference between these confusing words but also how to use each one correctly.

Gerunds: Are They Verbs? Are They Nouns?

13. Gerunds: Are They Verbs? Are They Nouns?

Take a closer look at the verbs and nouns we use in everyday language to help you understand gerunds. Watch this video lesson to learn the exact nature of gerunds and their purpose in writing.

The Difference Between Direct & Indirect Objects in Sentence Structure

14. The Difference Between Direct & Indirect Objects in Sentence Structure

Mixing up direct and indirect objects could drastically affect sentence structure. Watch this video lesson to finally learn how to differentiate between direct and indirect objects and also how to use each correctly.

Capitalization Rules in Writing

15. Capitalization Rules in Writing

Capitalization is a very important concept in standard grammar in the written form of the English language. Watch this video lesson to learn what capitalization is and when to use it.

Punctuation: Using Colons, Semicolons & Periods

16. Punctuation: Using Colons, Semicolons & Periods

Periods, colons, and semicolons all have the ability to stop a sentence in its tracks, but for very different purposes. In this lesson, learn how and why we use them in our writing.

Commas: Correct Usage & Basic Rules

17. Commas: Correct Usage & Basic Rules

Think that you know commas? You may be surprised. Even the most experienced writers have problems remembering all the rules. Learn the basics of comma usage in this first of two lessons on the comma.

Commonly Confused Words in English

18. Commonly Confused Words in English

Is it 'accept' or 'except?' 'Affect' or 'effect?' How do you know when to use 'there,' 'their,' or 'they're?' Watch this video lesson to learn about some confusing words in English and how to properly use each one.

Question Mark: Definition & Use

19. Question Mark: Definition & Use

A question mark (?) is a form of punctuation placed at the end of a sentence. Its main purpose is to specify a query or question. In this lesson, we will take a look at when you should and should not use a question mark in your writing.

Exclamation Mark: Use & Meaning

20. Exclamation Mark: Use & Meaning

The exclamation mark (!), also called the exclamation point, is a form of punctuation that is sometimes used at the end of a single word, phrase or complete sentence. Its goal is to express an extremely strong and intense statement.

Apostrophe: Use & Examples

21. Apostrophe: Use & Examples

In this lesson, we will learn about the apostrophe and how it's useful to us. See a few examples of common apostrophe mistakes and learn how to correct them.

Parentheses and Dashes: Correct Usage

22. Parentheses and Dashes: Correct Usage

Parentheses and dashes are two different (but often confused) ways of setting off a chunk of information within a sentence - do you know how to use them correctly?

Using Hyphens, Brackets, Ellipses & Quotation Marks

23. Using Hyphens, Brackets, Ellipses & Quotation Marks

Writing not only consists of letters and words but many forms of punctuation. Watch this video lesson to learn about four types of punctuation: hyphens, brackets, ellipses, and quotation marks.

Spelling & Word Patterns: Prefixes, Suffixes & Root Words

24. Spelling & Word Patterns: Prefixes, Suffixes & Root Words

How do we form words in our language? What gives them definitions? Watch this video lesson to discover how word parts like prefixes, suffixes and root words make up words and affect their meanings.

Spelling: Words That Sound Alike (Homonyms & Homophones)

25. Spelling: Words That Sound Alike (Homonyms & Homophones)

Watch this lesson to learn to differentiate between words that sound alike but may be spelled differently. We'll specifically look at homonyms, homographs, and homophones.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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