Simple, isn’t it? Serenely self-confident and self-contained, it embodies a simple statement of fact, unburdened by any distractions.
No, no. I’m not talking about the philosophical statement (though, that’s true, too). I’m talking about the sentence, because it simply doesn’t get any more, well, simple than that.
A noun: I
A verb: am
Punctuation to finish the thought: Period.
That, my friends, is all you need for a sentence.
Of course, you can add more stuff to it–that’s what makes things interesting. You can make bread with nothing but water and flour if you truly need to, but it’s a lot tastier if you add things like yeast, salt, butter, eggs, fruit, spices, nuts… you get the idea. But, the essentials must be there. A combination of butter, eggs, and salt may make a tasty omelet, but it is NOT bread. Likewise, a combination of adjectives, verbs, and prepositions does not make a sentence.
Every, single sentence, in order to be a sentence, must have a noun and a verb, and it must complete a thought.
Wait, I hear you saying, what about something like “Stop!” or “Shoot!” Aren’t they sentences? Well, yes, they are, but the noun is understood to be “You,” as in, “You wait.” They are technically commands, declarative sentences, and for those, brevity is key, but since they are directed AT somebody, the noun is understood to be there.
And, obviously, there’s more to be said about sentences. (How many two-word sentences do you come across on a daily basis?) It’s always good to start with the basics, though. You understand.