What is a complete sentence? What's a phrase or clause?
The sentence is the basic building block of speaking and writing.
To be complete, a sentence must have asubject(noun or pronoun, plus any modifying words) and apredicate(a verb, plus objects and any modifying words). The subject can have more than one noun -- in which case it's called acompound subject.
The calico cat is chasing a mouse. The New York Yankees have won the World Series many times. The Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are traditional rivals.
In these sentences, the words that are in italics are the subject, while the words in plain (Roman) type make up the predicate.
As noted before, sentences can havephrases, which are words that go together but have no subject and/or predicate, andclauses. Amain clausecan stand alone as a separate sentence:
Angela likes ice cream (, even in the winter).
Asubordinate clauseis an incomplete idea and must be used with a main clause:
When I was a boy, which I saw on television.
An incomplete sentence -- one lacking a subject or a predicate -- is also called asentence fragment.