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Ever feel like youre not getting anywhere with your writing???

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Presentation on theme: "Ever feel like youre not getting anywhere with your writing???"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Ever feel like youre not getting anywhere with your writing???

3 The Sentence As much as any sane person needs to know…

4 Terms well need Subject Verb Clause (group of words with a subject and a verb) Independent-strong, stands alone Dependent-subordinate-weak, needs support

5 Simple sentence A simple sentence has one independent clause and no dependent clauses: The student yawned.

6 Although a simple sentence cannot have a dependent clause, it can have modifiers: The tall student sitting in the back in my algebra class yawned loudly. The basic sentence is The student yawned. The other words are modifiers - they are descriptive words.

7 A simple sentence contains only one independent clause, but it can have more than one subject or verb: TWO SUBJECTS: The student and his friend yawned. TWO VERBS : The student yawned and fell asleep.

8 TWO SUBJECTS: The student and his friend yawned. TWO VERBS : The student yawned and fell asleep.

9 A sentence with all these elements will be long, but it is still simple because it contains only one independent clause: The tall student sitting in the back in my physics class and his friend yawned loudly and fell asleep. Can you identify the real sentence and the modifiers?

10 The tall student sitting in the back in my physics class and his friend yawned loudly and fell asleep.

11 Compound sentence A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses that are usually joined by a coordinating conjunction: Henry got a new job, so he has to move. I have a lot of homework, but I am not going to have time to study tonight.

12 Notice the difference between a simple sentence with a compound verb and a compound sentence with two clauses: SIMPLEMy house guests returned from a long day of shopping and went straight to bed. COMPOUNDMy house guests returned home from a long day of shopping, and we decided to stay at home instead of going out. What is the difference?

13 Compound sentence with coordinating conjunctions Most compound sentences are formed with a coordinating conjunction: and, or, but, so, for, nor, yet. The last three occur almost exclusively in writing, so they add a level of formality: The experiment was deemed successful, yet our results were unsatisfactory. The students were unhappy with their professor, for he often wasted their time in class.

14 Compound sentence without coordinating conjunctions Yet, while most compound sentences are formed with a coordinating conjunctions, often good writers decide to eliminate the conjunction and simply add a semicolon: The ambitious student initiated the research; the teacher was pleased by her efforts. The students were unhappy with their professor; he often wasted their time in class.

15 Compound sentence without coordinating conjunctions When a transition leads a clause, it is usually followed by a comma. If the transition lands in the middle of a compound sentence, use the semicolon, and then follow the transition with a comma: The experiment was deemed successful; unfortunately, our results were unsatisfactory. The students were unhappy with their professor; undeniably, he often wasted their time in class.

16 Complex sentence A complex sentence has an independent clause with one or more dependent clauses (independent clauses are in italics). Note that introductory dependent clauses must be followed by commas: Since we got to the concert late, we had to make our way to our seats in the dark. We left class early so that we could attend a special lecture.

17 Complex sentences should be punctuated in one of two ways: INDEPENDENT CLAUSE + dependent clause no comma We left class early so that we could attend a special lecture. Dependent clause, + INDEPENDENT CLAUSE comma So that we could attend a special lecture, we left class early.

18 Comparing compound and complex sentences interest, variety, and coherence compound sentences differ from complex sentences in one important way: In a compound sentence, both clauses have equal importance; in a complex sentence, the independent clause is more important.

19 Compare these sentences COMPOUND John was tired, but he finished his homework. COMPLEX Although John was tired, he finished his homework. In the first sentence, the writer is communicating that both clauses are equally important. In the second sentence, the writer is saying that the subordinate clause ("John was tired") is less important than the independent clause ("he finished his homework").

20 Compound-Complex Sentences Constructing Compound-Complex Sentences A compound-complex sentence includes least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. Example: Though Mitchell prefers watching romantic films, he rented the latest spy thriller, and he enjoyed it very much. Example: Laura forgot her friend's birthday, so she sent her a card when she finally remembered. Because compound-complex sentences are normally longer than other sentences, it is very important to punctuate them correctly.

21 Long, rambling sentences- Run-ons??? Writing that has too many strings of independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions can be frustrating for the reader. These long rambling sentences leave the reader out of breath and wondering what is important.

22 Look at this paragraph with many independent clauses joined with coordinating conjunctions: What do you think? I went home, but my roommate wasn't there, so I started to cook dinner, but my roommate came in and saw me trying to cook his favorite recipe, but I didn't really know how to make it well, and he got really angry, so I stopped cooking, and he made dinner for us, and then everything was all right.

23 The independent clauses are underlined, and the coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS) are in bold: I went home, but my roommate wasn't there, so I started to cook dinner, but my roommate came in and saw me trying to cook his favorite recipe, but I didn't really know how to make it well, and he got really angry, so I stopped cooking, and he made dinner for us, and then everything was all right.

24 This is better! Notice how it makes use of a variety of sentence structures. When I went home, my roommate wasn't there, so I started to cook dinner. Then, my roommate came in and saw me trying to cook his favorite recipe even though I didn't know how to make it well. I stopped cooking because he got really angry. In the end, he made dinner for us, and everything was all right.

25 Sometimes you can improve sentences by just adding a few interesting phrases! I thought of this poem while I was watching my dog play. Not a TERRIBLE sentence, really, but not a very interesting one, either.

26 Sometimes you can improve sentences by just adding a few interesting phrases! I thought of this poem while I was watching my dog play. By creating an introductory participial (-ing) phrase, we improve things dramatically: Watching my dog play, I thought of a great idea for a poem.

27 Sometimes you can improve things by just adding a few interesting phrases! I wrote this poem after I finished a challenging basketball game. OK By creating an introductory participial phrase, we improve things dramatically: Finishing a challenging basketball game, I paused to write this poem. BETTER

28 Sometimes you can improve things by just adding a few interesting phrases! My mom wrote this poem for me. Its about childhood. What would you do to improve this? Combine the sentences, and start the new sentence with the word Thinking as part of a participial phrase (-ing or –ed phrase).

29 Sometimes you can improve things by just adding a few interesting phrases! My friend, Sabrina, wrote this poem for me. She told me that her cat inspired her to write it. What would you do to improve this? Combine the sentences, and start the new sentence with the word Inspired as part of a participial phrase (-ing or –ed phrase).

30 Any Questions? If youre viewing this from home, Mrs. Mustain at


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