EDUCE Overview Copyright 2009 Nikolas S. Boyd.
All rights reserved.

Nuclear Sentence

(aka Kernel Sentence)


Simplify sentences and their clausal extensions.


People often express their ideas using complex sentences. But, such sentence complexity, while ordinary and natural enough in conversations, sometimes hinders effective duplication and interpretation. Conversely, simplicity promotes clarity, duplication, interpretation, and understanding.


Use nuclear sentences when


Simple sentences help people communicate more effectively. While there are no ultimate guarantees of effectiveness, simple sentences increase the likelihood that people will actually duplicate and construe them similarly. The essential nucleus of a simple English sentence resembles the following structural form:

Nuclear Sentence = Subject + Predicate
Predicate= Normal Verb + Object + (Prepositional Phrase)*
Normal Verb = Verb with
Voiceactive + Tense present + Numbersingular +
Moodindicative + Polarityaffirmative
Prepositional Phrase = Preposition + Object
Subject = Noun Phrase with Personthird + Numbersingular
Object = Noun Phrase
Noun Phrase = Article (Adjective)* (Noun)+


a predator captures a prey
a giver gives a gift to a recipient
a sender sends a message to a recipient through a medium

The nuclear sentence structure provides readers with a consistent way to parse and construe sentences. Such simplicity reduces ambiguity (or makes it more obvious) and contributes to a better understanding of a subject while retaining (sometimes even revealing) essential meaning.

Certain grammatical transformations preserve meaning while simplifying and converging on the nuclear sentence structure. Many of the EDUCE language patterns focus on these grammatical transformations.


Each simple sentence and each clause (in a complex sentence) has a normal form, which is based on a nuclear sentence. You can move toward sentence normal form using an isolated subject and an isolated verb.

The sentence normal form offers people a consistent way to construct, parse, and construe sentences. Such consistency helps people share their understanding of a subject matter, thereby fostering commonality.