What is the name of such sentence in English syntax?

Pronoun + auxiliary verb (or lexical verb) + noun / adjective

No verb in the sentence.

for example:

I am a student


I am shy

I want to describe such kind of sentences by the conventional (and also shortest) terminology

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    I think, given that you fail to recognize the generic "to be" verb as the main verb of these sentences, you're better off working to perfect your basic English grammar, and forgetting about esoteric grammar classification. Only a very few native speakers know what a "copula sentence" is, and even fewer care. – Andrew Nov 24 '17 at 7:39
  • @Andrew Auxiliary verb has 4 groups which one of them is "to be"... See here for example: i.ytimg.com/vi/DZ4qfum5dW8/maxresdefault.jpg and also here: google.com.ua/…: – Judicious Allure Nov 24 '17 at 10:47
  • Sure, but three of these can be simple verbs. I am a Star Wars fan. I do laundry on Fridays. I have a pet cat. My point is that, instead of worrying about what (mostly) useless English grammar terms, you learn how to speak, read, and write English like a native. – Andrew Nov 24 '17 at 16:17
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    Your examples are not nominal sentences. The Wikipedia article gives clear examples, none of which apply here. James K answered your question -- but, of course, it's up to you whether you accept the advice of native speakers or imagine that you somehow know better. As the old English saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" – Andrew Nov 24 '17 at 23:44
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    @Andrew If you don't know or care about the grammar, you are free to pass on answering the question. It doesn't mean the OP can't or shouldn't ask. It's not at all esoteric. – snailplane Nov 25 '17 at 0:02

That is not an auxiliary verb. The verb "am" is the main verb.

The verb "to be" can be an auxiliary verb. But it can also be a main verb.

Auxillary verbs work with another verb. Eg "I am playing tennis." "I have eaten chips." The words "am" and "have are auxiliary to the words "playing" or "eaten", forming the present continuous and perfect tenses respectively

There is no other verb in "I am shy", the verb "am" is the main verb.

In these sentences it is linking the subject (I) with a subject-complement (the adjective "shy", or the noun "a student") when a verb is used to link like this it is a "copula".

So the structure is pronoun-copula-complement, and you could call these "copula sentences".

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    It is an auxiliary verb. Auxiliary verb has 4 groups which one of them is "to be". See here for example: i.ytimg.com/vi/DZ4qfum5dW8/maxresdefault.jpg and here: google.com.ua/…: – Judicious Allure Nov 24 '17 at 10:47
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    In the sentence "I am shy" the word "am" is not an auxiliary verb. In the sentence "I am playing tennis" the word "am" is an auxiliary verb. So the verb "to be" is sometimes an auxiliary verb, and sometimes not an auxiliary verb. All the other verbs in your image are sometimes auxiliary verbs and sometimes main verbs – James K Nov 24 '17 at 22:40
  • I'm sorry, I didn't find any source for this differentiation between "auxiliary verb - to be" to simply "to be" (without auxiliary verb), but I found opposite since "to be" apparently always categorized under auxiliary verb, or alternatively there are mistakes in the following books as follow (in the next comment I'll put the link to the books). In the meantime I can say that the answer for my question (what is such kind of sentence^ called in grammar) is: "nominal sentence" or "equational sentence" – Judicious Allure Nov 24 '17 at 23:59
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    Right, it's not really debatable – it passes all the auxiliary tests, like participating in subject–auxiliary inversion ( I am shyAm I shy?), so it's clearly an auxiliary. Traditional grammar is simply wrong about this. – snailplane Nov 25 '17 at 0:00
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    @rjpond Yep! This one is clearly an auxiliary, but be can also be lexical. The claim that be is always an auxiliary is certainly false. For more information, please see: The Two be's of English by Thomas Payne. – snailplane Nov 25 '17 at 0:32

Such kind of sentence is called in the linguistic terminology: "nominal sentence" or "equational sentence" meaning that this sentence doesn't have a verbal predicate. Therefore, the opposite term is "verbal sentence" which has a verbal predicate.

"Nominal sentence (also: equational sentence) is a linguistic term that refers to a nonverbal sentence (i.e. a sentence without a finite verb). As a nominal sentence does not have a verbal predicate, it may contain a nominal predicate, an adjectival predicate, an adverbial predicate or even a prepositional predicate." (Wikipedia)

This is not debatable definition for the sentence "I am shy" or others like it.

Regarding to definition of the sentence "I am shy" as a structure of:

Pronoun + auxiliary verb + noun / adjective

based on some sources which are linked in the comments here, it is debatable. Others definite "am" in this sentence as lexical verb or copula rather than an auxiliary verb.


Read also here:

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