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Variety in Sentence Structure
Transcript of Variety in Sentence Structure
Inverted order is the simplest way to vary the sound of a sentence.
a simple reversal of the order in which the subject and verb normally appear in a sentence OR the movement of a phrase occurring near the end of the sentence to the beginning of the sentence
-a sentence combining technique which allows the writer to further describe or clarify a noun within the sentence.
-allow the creation of longer, more effective sentences
-help to break up the monotonous sound of short, choppy sentences.
The lost wallet was finally located
with great effort.
With great effort, the lost wallet was finally located.
over the fence one after another.
Over the fence
one after another.
Not all sentences can be placed in inverted order.
She showed her report card
to her mother
To her mother
she showed her report card.
Rewrite the following sentences in inverted order. Decide whether each one sounds reasonable in the new form.
1. We examined the literature with great interest.
2. Several new clues were found under microscopic examination.
3. The cyclists raced down the street.
4. Several new proposals are currently under consideration.
5. The student demonstrated his project to the class.
Techniques to Achieve Variety in
Sentence Structure: Inverted Order
Place the verb
down the street.
Down the street
Appositive phrases must:
-always immediately follow the nouns they modify.
-as nonessential elements of any sentence, be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
Condense each two-sentence set into one sentence that incorporates an appositive phrase.
General Sherman will review the troops today.
He is Commander in Chief of the armed forces.
Plead your case to Mrs. Henderson.
Mrs. Henderson is the principal.
From a distance Mt. Everest hardly looks impressive.
Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world.
Do not begin an appositive phrase with relative pronouns (who, which, that).
You will create an adjective clause rather than an appositive phrase.
created any time a sentence is begun with an infinitive, a present participle, or a past participle verb form.
nothing more than the word
used with a present-tense verb form (to run, to sing, to win, etc.)
simply a present-tense verb with an
ending (running, singing, winning)
simply a verb form ending in
What is the advantage of using verbal phrases?
Similar to using appositive phrases, it allows for more variety of sound and more lengthy, substantial sentences.
Combine the essential elements of the two sentences into one sentence by beginning the new sentence with a verbal phrase.
Susan wants to earn an "A" in math this grading period.
This is Susan's primary goal.
The sentry shivered throughout the long, lonely night.
He refused to complain about the misery he was experiencing.
The boxer was battered and bruised.
He summoned the courage to answer the final bell.
The thief wanted to avoid detection.
He hid in a small cubicle beneath the stairwell.
The team needs to grow in confidence.
This is the team's most pressing concern.
a participle is a verbal that is used as an adjective and most often ends in -ing or -ed.
based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being
function as adjectives, so they modify nouns or pronouns.
a group of words consisting of a participle and the modifier(s)--including other phrases and/or the object(s) of the phrase
Removing his coat, Jack rushed to the river.
The participial phrase functions as an adjective modifying Jack.
his coat (direct object of an action expressed in participle)
In order to prevent confusion, a participial phrase must be placed as close to the noun it modifies as possible, and the noun must be clearly stated.
Carrying a heavy pile of books, his foot caught on a step.
Carrying a heavy pile of books, he caught his foot on a step.
In the first sentence, there is no clear indication of who or what is performing the action expressed in the participle carrying. (dangling modifier error: the modifier (the participial phrase) is not modifying any specific noun in the sentence and is thus left "dangling."
Since a person must be doing the carrying for the sentence to make sense, a noun or pronoun that refers to a person must be in the place immediately after the participial phrase. The second sentence
A participial phrase is set off with commas when it:
- comes at the beginning of the sentence.
- interrupts a sentence as a nonessential element.
- comes at the end of a sentence and is separated from the word it modifies.
a group of words that begins with a subordinating conjunction.
specify very precise relationships between words
Common Subordinating Conjunctions
although, if, unless, wherever, after, like, until, while, as, since, when, because, so that, whenever, before, though, where
Some subordinating conjunctions refer to time, some refer to place, and some refer to cause and effect.
use a subordinating conjunction to combine closely-related sentences
Adding an adverb clause creates either a
sentence or a
Look at the two-sentence sets below. Combine the essential elements of each sentence into a complex sentence that begins with an adverb clause.
The chemistry student had studied diligently for three weeks.
He still managed to fail the big test.
The student driver failed his road test for the third time.
He was forced to reapply for another permit.
The river is bound to overflow its banks tonight.
More volunteers need to be recruited.
The batter struck out on three straight pitches.
He broke his bat and stormed angrily back to the dugout.