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The Best Ready-to-Use English Sentence Patterns Just for You

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It’s difficult to begin communicating effectively in a new language. There are so many new words, grammar rules to remember, and little nuances that you learn only through years of practice and growth. And, especially for those of us who are painfully shy or afraid of failure, trying out these new words and phrases is asking for a panic attack! 

So where to start?

If you’re ready to start speaking English today and jumpstart your exposure to everyday language, you’re in the right place. 

EnglishClass101.com has prepared a list of eleven English sentence patterns for beginners to get started with. These basic phrases will enable you to express the most important and practical concepts with ease. And you can practice using them every day! 

The best part is that once you have these patterns memorized, you can create hundreds of original, detailed sentences to use with anyone! 

I recommend that you read my article on English Word Order and Sentence Structure before continuing. Some of the sentence pattern examples in this article are more complex, and having a good idea of how word order works first will help you to get the most value from this article! 

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. A is B.
  2. A is [Adjective].
  3. I am ___.
  4. I want (to) ___.
  5. I need (to) ___. / I have to ___.
  6. I like (to) ___.
  7. Please ___.
  8. May I ___? / Can I ___?
  9. What is ___?
  10. When (is) ___? / What time (is) ___?
  11. Where is ___?
  12. Final Thoughts

1. A is B.

When you want to link two nouns, use the “A is B” sentence pattern. A is the first noun and B is the noun you’re linking it to. You’re basically saying that the first noun (A) is also the second noun (B).

Simple Examples

She is my friend.”
He is my teacher.”
My grandma is a bookkeeper.”

More Complex Examples

Peanut butter is my favorite food.”
That scented candle is a gift from my best friend.”
Sentence Patterns

2. A is [Adjective].

The “A is Adjective” sentence pattern is very similar to the one above. But instead of linking A to another noun, you’re linking it to an adjective that describes it. 

Here are some simple examples:

Simple Examples

He is hardworking.”
She is intelligent.”
The apartment is small.”

More Complex Examples

Sharon’s dog is really annoying.”
The dinner I’m going to make next week will be delicious.”
Pot of Goulash

Note the use of “will be” in the last example. “Will be” is the future tense of “is” and is used to imply that something will happen in the future.

→ Learn more about verb conjugation in our dedicated article! 

→ Need to brush up on your adjectives? EnglishClass101.com has a special vocab list to help you out! 

3. I am ___.

This is a versatile sentence pattern you can use to talk about yourself, and one of best sentences in English for a beginner. You can give your name this way, talk about your occupation, let someone know how you’re feeling, or inform someone about what you’re currently doing:

  • I am [name].
  • I am (a/an) [occupation].
  • I am [adjective].
  • I am [gerund form of verb].

Simple Examples

“I am [Lily].” – Name
“I am [a writer].” – Occupation
“I am [hungry].” – Adjective
Woman Deep in Thought

More Complex Examples

I am [thinking about the future]. – Verb
I am [excited] for the upcoming holiday season. – Adjective

→ Check out EnglishClass101’s dedicated vocabulary lists for Jobs/Work, Top 20 Words for Positive Emotions, Top 21 Words for Negative Emotions, and the 50 Most Common Verbs

4. I want (to) ___.

Use the “I want (to) ___” sentence pattern to let someone know what you want:

Simple Examples

“I want this.”
“I want pie.”
“I want to sleep.”

Note that the word “to” is used after the word “want” when the desire expressed is an action. 

Woman Sleeping

More Complex Examples

“I want to ask you a question.”
“Henry wants to visit his grandparents next month.”

5. I need (to) ___. / I have to ___.

These are some of the most commonly used English sentences used in daily life, and they can be used almost interchangeably. The only exception is “I need ___” if the word “to” is dropped. In this case, the phrase can’t be used to express an action- or verb-related need. (There are also small differences in their technical meanings, but most people won’t care which one you use in conversation.)

Use these sentence structures to let someone know what you need or have to do.

Simple Examples

“I need a vacation.”
“I need to eat.”
“I need to sleep.”

Just like in the previous sentence pattern, note that the word “to” is used after the word “need” or “have” when the need is an action.

More Complex Examples

“I have to use the bathroom.”
“I have to leave very soon.”

6. I like (to) ___.

Use these basic English sentences to describe what you enjoy doing

Simple Examples

“I like reading.”
“I like petting cats.”
“I like to drink coffee.”
Sentence Components

More Complex Examples

“I like spending time with you every day.”
“I like going on long road trips with my loved ones.”

Here’s some more vocabulary to help you talk about what you like to do! 

7. Please ___.

The “Please ___” sentence pattern is the simplest and most effective way to ask someone to do something in a polite and respectful way. Simply say “Please” followed by your request

Simple Examples

“Please listen to me.”
“Please help me out.”
“Please follow directions.”

More Complex Examples

“Please pick up dinner on your way home from work.”
“Please show me where the nearest gas station is.”

8. May I ___? / Can I ___?

Use these simple sentences to ask for permission to do something. They can usually be used interchangeably, though there are technical differences. “May I ___?” is usually considered more proper and polite when requesting permission, while “Can I ___?” has more to do with one’s ability to do something.

Simple Example

“May I come in?”
“May I go now?”
“Can I ask you a question?”

More Complex Examples

“May I ask what you’re doing here so late?”
“Can I join you guys at the movie theater tomorrow?”
People Watching a Movie at the Theater

9. What is ___?

This is a great sentence pattern for getting more information about something or someone. Simply say “What is” followed by the thing you want more information about.

Simple Examples

“What is this?”
“What is your name?”
“What is tomorrow?”

More Complex Examples

“What is the name of that song we were listening to?”
“What is your favorite ___?”

In the last example, fill in the blank with the topic you’re curious about. 

→ If you’re asking about their favorite food, favorite animal, or favorite color, prepare for their answer by studying our relevant vocab lists!

10. When (is) ___? / What time (is) ___?

You can use the sentence pattern “When (is) ___?” when you’re asking about a specific time or date. You can use “What time (is) ___?” if you just need to know the time. 

Here are some examples of how to ask for the time or date.

Simple Examples

“What time is it?”
“When is your birthday?”
“When should I arrive?”

More Complex Examples

“When is the meeting at work next week?”
“What time is the baby shower at your house tomorrow?”

→ Learn how to talk about dates and use numbers with EnglishClass101! 

11. Where is ___?

Use the “Where is ___?” sentence pattern to ask someone where something is. This is an essential phrase to remember if you plan on traveling somewhere you’ve never been to before! 

Simple Examples

“Where is the restroom?”
“Where is the elevator?”
“Where is the store?”
Salad Bar at a Restaurant

More Complex Examples

“Where is that really good restaurant located?”
“Where is the library you wanted me to visit?”

→ For more helpful words and phrases, check out our Position / Direction vocabulary list or our blog post about giving and asking for directions in English.

12. Final Thoughts

With these common English phrases and sentence patterns, you can communicate effectively about almost anything. It may take a little while to memorize each one and get used to how they work, but once you get there, it will be very much worth it

If you need to, feel free to bookmark this page to look at later, or print it out and put it somewhere you’ll see every day. And of course, practice using these sentence patterns in various situations as often as you can. Remember that mistakes are part of the learning process and can actually help you grow more as a language-learner than perfection (or lack of trying!) can.

Did you know any of these sentence patterns already? Which ones are new to you? If there’s anything you’re unsure about or need help with, leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you out! 

If you’re serious about mastering English, be sure to create your free lifetime account today on EnglishClass101.com. We make it fun, effective, and as painless as possible! 

Happy English learning! 

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