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SYNTAX: The way words are arranged in a sentence.

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Jackie Randall

on 3 September 2013

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Transcript of SYNTAX: The way words are arranged in a sentence.

Word Order
Word Order
And then of course there is Yoda...
The way words are arranged in a sentence.

Important Elements to Consider
Sentence Type
Word Order
Sentence Length
Determine the Sentence type.
Create an assertion: What effect does the sentence type have on the piece or the audience?
How does the author punctuate the sentence, and to what extent does the punctuation affect the meaning?
Word Order
The way/order the author arranges words and ideas in the sentence.

Sentence Length
=1-2 words, abrupt
= shorter than 5 words
=approx. 5-10 words
=approx. 15-20 words
=approx. 30 + words

"Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."

Linguist Noam Chomsky created this sentence--which is grammatically correct but incomprehensible--to demonstrate that the rules governing syntax are distinct from the meanings words convey.

Sentence Types
—statements— She baked a cake.
—questions - Who ate the cake?
—commands/requests—Get me a cake.
- Yum!

Sentence Types
Simple Sentences
—one subject, one predicate—The chocolate cake is delicious.
Compound Sentences
—two or more independent clauses joined together—The chocolate cake is delicious, so I had a piece.
Complex Sentences
—one independent clause and one dependent clause—If I had the chance, I would eat cake every day.
Compound-Complex Sentences
—two or more independent clauses and at least one dependent clause—When it is my birthday, I will have cake, but I
think I'll just have it on special occasions.

I like cooking, my family, and my pets.

I like cooking my family and my pets.

You try.
Create two sentences. Use the same words and the same word order but change the punctuation. What effect does it have on the meaning of the sentence?
Loose Sentence
(main point is at the beginning)—We reached London that morning after a turbulent flight and some exciting experiences.
Periodic Sentence
(main idea is at the end of the sentence)—That morning, after a turbulent flight and some exciting experiences, we reached London.
Parallel Structure
—similarity of structure in phrases, clauses, or sentences. We went to the British Museum, to Hyde Park, and to the Globe.
—contrasting ideas in balanced structure—“We must learn to live together as brothers or parish as fools.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Natural order
(subject before main verb)—Oranges grow in California.
Inverted order
(verb before subject)—In California grow oranges.
Interrupted Sentence
(subordinate phrase or clause comes in the middle of the main clause)—These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong.

Why did the author choose this order? What effect does it have?
Object - Verb - Subject
How can sentence length effect a piece?
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