Recognizing a Sentence
Let’s start with a few basic definitions.
A basic unit of language is a Word. Examples are car, dog, sun.
A group of related words can be a Phrase. Examples are shiny new car; snarling, angry dog; in the bright sun.
When a group of words contains a subject and verb, it is called a Clause. Example: I ran.
When the word group has a subject and a verb and makes sense by itself, it is called a Sentence or an Independent Clause. Example: I ran into the shiny new car.
When a word group has a subject and a verb but does not make sense by itself, it is called a Dependent Clause. Example: After a refreshing swim in the new pool.
Refer to Along These Lines, Writing Paragraphs and Essays, 3rd edition by Biays and Wershoven. Chapter 14.