Sentence Pattern Study: Pattern 5

Pattern 5 with Shurley English.jpg

Welcome back to the fourth entry in my series about sentence patterns. Remember, if you recognize the pattern of a sentence’s core parts, the grammar of the sentence (or its word arrangement) will make more sense. So far, you know about Pattern 1, Pattern 2, Pattern 3, and Pattern 4.

To get ready for Pattern 5, let’s first look at the Pattern 4 sentence from last time.

Pattern 4 with SHurley English.png

Patterns 4 and 5 are closely related because of the linking verb. Pattern 4 links the subject noun to the predicate noun (PrN). Now, check out Pattern 5: SN LV PA.

Pattern 5 Sentence with Shurley English.png

In Pattern 5, we still have a linking verb. But instead of getting linked to a noun after the linking verb, the subject noun gets linked to an adjective after the linking verb. We call that kind of adjective a predicate adjective (PA). You can always tell if a word is an adjective because it answers the question, “What kind?” about the noun it describes.

What kind of chickens?  FAST! Fast describes chickens in this Pattern 5 example, even though the word fast is located in the predicate part of the sentence. It’s the linking verb that does the connecting.


am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been, seem(s), look(s), become(s), grow(s), and feel(s)


Now, you give it a try! Look at these extra examples. Then, use the pattern and compose some Pattern 5 sentences on your own!

1. The bugs were creepy.

2. The clowns look silly.

3. Math is easy.

4. The firemen were brave.


Shurley English teaches Patterns 6 and 7 also, but I won’t feature them in this series. To check them out, please go to our website and request a free preview of our seventh or eighth grade digital edition.