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The Independent Elements of the Sentence

§ 40. The independent elements of the sentence are words and word- groups which are not grammatically dependent on any part of the sentence. They are:

1. Interjections, such as ah, oh, hurrah, eh, hallo, goodness, gra­cious, good heavens, etc.

Oh, if I only knew what a dreadful thing it is to be clean, I'd never come. (Shaw)

"Oh gracious me! that innocent Toots," returned Susan hysteri­cally. (Dickens)

2. Direct address.

Good morning,sweet child! (Douglas)

Don't be tiresome,Marcellus! (Douglas)

3. Parenthesis.

A parenthesis either shows the speaker's attitude towards the thought expressed in the sentence or connects a given sentence with another one, or summarizes that which is said in the sentence. A paren­thesis is connected with the rest of the sentence rather semantically than grammatically. No question can be put to it. Very often it is detached from the rest of the sentence and consequently it is often separated from it by commas or dashes.

He hadprobably never occupied a chair with a fuller sense of embarrassment. (Galsworthy)

To be sure, Morris had treated her badly of late. (Prichard)

Unfortunately, it will be you who will have to explain that to him. (Heym)

But you shouldn't pay him to-night,anyway, you're his guest. (Galsworthy)

Besides, you know, I'm a pensioner, anyway. That makes me 65, to begin with. (Maltz)

Speaking seriously though, Kit... it's very good and thoughtful, and like you, to do this. (Dickens)


§ 41. A parenthesis can be expressed by:

1. Modal words, such as indeed, certainly, assuredly, decidedly, in fact, truly, naturally, surely, actually, possibly; perhaps, evidently, obvi­ously, maybe.

Evidently, he was not a man, he must be some other kind of animal. (Shaw)

Luckily, poor dear Roger had been spared this dreadful anxiety. (Galsworthy)

2. Adverbs which to a certain extent serve as connectives, such as firstly, secondly, finally, thus, consequently, then, anyway, moreover, besides, still, yet, nevertheless, otherwise, notwithstanding, therefore, etc.

He mightn't like it.Besides, uncle Soames wants to get back, I suppose. (Galsworthy)

He was losing money.Furthermore, he had sweated to make the truck comfortable for them. (Maltz)

3. Prepositional phrases, such as in a word, in truth, in my opinion ,in short, by the by, on the one hand, on the contrary, at least, etc.

Everybody has his own problem. Mine is practically worthless for instance. (Maltz)

By the way, Harry, I have often meant to ask you: is she your mother's sister or your father's? (Shaw)

4. Infinitive and participial phrases, such as to be sure, to tell the truth, to begin with, generally speaking, strictly speaking, etc.

Sarah, my dear,comparatively speaking, you're safe. (Dick­ens)

To tell you the truth, I don't want to go there.

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