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The Sentence Builder

A step by step process to building longer sentences by using

Ian Davis

on 10 September 2010

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Transcript of The Sentence Builder

The Sentence Builder Workshop This cartoon will tell you, in a sense, what you need to build a compound sentence. What do you think this 1973 cartoon could tell you about constructing sentences? Is it effective to think of sentences as if each word was a train car? School House Rock Write, on a clean sheet of paper: Why or why not? The Process Follow me through these steps. 1. Write, on your sheet of paper, two simple sentences. Do they look something like this? The Bobs' ate dinner. It was delicious and filled them up. Bob and Mrs. Bob were hungry. Simple sentence: Simple subject, simple predicate. One complete subject made of two nouns. One complete predicate made of two verbs. 2. Write a compound sentence that combines these two sentences. Try to write on one topic. Ask for help if you need it. Try to use what you already have. If you can't, add info to one of the two. We are going to work through the four sentence types and build something a bit more complicated. Compound sentence: Complete sentence joined to another complete sentence through coordinating conjunctions or adverbial conjunctions. FANBOYS vs. However, Nevertheless, Moreover, Heretofore etc. 3. Write a complex sentence using your compound sentence. Rewrite the compound sentence, adding the subordinant clause. Complex sentence: At least one complete sentence tied to a subordinating clause (by a subordinating conjunction) that also uses a full subject and predicate.
Subordinating conjunction: Before, after, when, while, etc. 4. Write an appositive sentence, modifying your complex sentence. It should be looking a little beastly by now. Photo by Gila Brand, creative commons. Appositive, or interrupter sentences, contain phrases, which also have subjects and predicates, that modify either the subject or predicate of the sentence within which they exist. A slide on a playground in Jerusalem. Hint: this sentence does it. Does it look something like this? Mr. Bob and Mrs. Bob were hungry, so the Bobs' ate dinner. or The Bobs' ate dinner; accordingly, it was delicious and filled them up. If you can use adverbial conjunctions like this effectively, your writing will sound more professional. Does it look like this? When they got home from bowling, Mr. Bob and Mrs. Bob were hungry, so the Bobs' ate dinner. The Bobs' ate dinner; while dinner was being consumed, it was delicious and, accordingly, it filled them up. or Your adverbial conjunction can be moved around. Try it if you use one. used to be over here It should now be looking like this, roughly. When they got home from bowling, Mr. Bob, who looks quite a bit like a bowling ball himself, and Mrs. Bob were hungry, so the Bobs' ate dinner. The Bobs' ate dinner; while dinner was being consumed, through a raucous barrage of snarling, gurgling sounds, it was delicious and, accordingly, filled them up. or Subordinating conj. Coordinating conj./FANBOYS Appositive statement Adverbial conj. This is a Compound-Complex Sentence. Consider a Compound-Complex Sentence to be a fifth sentence type. Simple Subject + Simple Predicate= Complete Sentence
Complete Sentence + Complete Sentence= Compound Sentence
Complete Sentence + Complete Sentence + Subordinant Clause = This thing. Compound-Complex. Compound-Complex Sentences are Big Big sentences look more professional. When they are performed correctly, Compound-Complex Sentences are grammatically impressive. While Compound-Complex Sentences are big, they are not to be used as a replacement for the other sentence types; nevertheless, they can be a powerful tool. Complex Sentence Simple Sentence Compound-Complex Sentence All sentence types are needed to make an effective argument for a terrific essay! Group work time! Five roles, increasing in difficulty: 1. Simple sentence person
2. Compound sentence person
3. Complex sentence person
4. Appositive sentence person
5. Compound-Complex sentence person Create an argument, using these sentences types in order. Topics: (your choice)
1. Reasons to own/or not a pet.
2. Best uses of a million dollars.
3. Remake U.S. Foreign Policy
4. Should Abigail, from The Crucible, be punished?
5. Should John Proctor be more responsible?
6. Create your own... One last sentence trick: Compound-Complex sentences are difficult to use in fictional writing, when you value a quick moving plot! Compare these: decide which is more pleasant to read. 1. While the fox was running from the farm dogs, he forgot to look where he was headed; incidentally, the farmer is enjoying a hearty fox stew tonight. 2. Running as fast as he could from the farm dogs, the fox, panting furiously with the exercise, sighed relief, noticing that he was no longer being followed; the golden meadow was straight ahead. Participial phrase-
Simple subject + simple predicate is all it takes. Modify either of these by adding -ing verbs, followed by words of description. Easy way to stretch a sentence.
Ex. "running," "panting," "noticing." Write a simple sentence, using at least one participial phrase. Exit Ticket: Write a single compound-complex sentence, using an adverbial conjunction, an appositive statement, and at least one participial phrase. Here's what it should/could look like: Waiting for the bus to arrive, Gregory, who was not usually on time, sat patiently on the grass, twiddling a blade of grass between his fingertips; (however, Gregory was beginning to become impatient. If you complete this, ask yourself: Do you prefer having your own examples of long sentences done well, for you to look at when you feel uncertain how to stretch your work, or would you rather have a cute cartoon like "Conjunction Junction" to tell you how it should look? Write it down.
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