Presentation on theme: "Sentence Variety and Brevity Experienced writers have the ability to use a variety of sentences to express their thoughts. Less experienced writers may."— Presentation transcript:
Sentence Variety and Brevity Experienced writers have the ability to use a variety of sentences to express their thoughts. Less experienced writers may use a few basic structures over and over, which can lead to monotonous writing style.
Just as a speaker can use voice and gesture to hold his audience and make his point, so the writer can use the rhetorical framework of the sentence for the same purpose. He can shorten or lengthen sentences, change from one sentence arrangement to another, repeat key words, and in other ways maintain the reader's interest and give force to important words and ideas. To keep your reader's interest and express the varied thoughts and relationships in your mind, use a variety of sentence forms.
A. Modifying Phrases There are many ways to vary your sentence structure for reader's interest and to express yourself most effectively. One way is by introducing your sentences with a phrase or by placing a phrase within a sentence after the word it modifies. A phrase is a modifying group of words that contains, neither a subject nor a verb.
Here are some examples of sentences that use such phrases. Behind the old refrigerator, I found my favorite hair pin I lost two months ago. Against the wishes of her husband, Maria took a vacation by herself. I'm not going to stay with my mother from today until the end of the month. Angered by his poor grades, Charles threw his English book out the window. Driving to work on Monday, Helen saw a terrible accident.
As you see, the phrases in the example sentences provide information that is essential to the meaning of the sentences. They usually come directly before or after the word they modify. Some phrases begin with prepositions ( including on, in, under, over, between, from, with, and by) and others with words ending in-ed and-ing that are commonly used as verbs.
B. Relative Pronouns Another useful type of complex sentence involves clauses beginning with the relative pronouns who, whom, whose, which, and that Relative pronouns differ from regular pronouns. (he, she, we, they, and so on) in their function. A relative pronoun directly follows the word it replaces and introduces a.modifying clause,, while: a regular pronoun replaces a word so that it isn't unnecessarily repeated in sentence.
Examples- The man who borrowed your lawn mower moved to Alaska. Here on the table are the books that you left at my house. The man who :owns the fruit stand is selling some bananas. Ralph picked the watermelon that was the largest and ripest. The woman whose money you found lives in Paris. Hanna's umbrella, which she bought for $ 30, has a hole in it.
C. Joining Sentences And Doing Away With Unnecessary Words Draft sentences Fred likes to open beer bottles with his teeth. He's an old friend of mine. Combined Fred, an old friend of mine, likes to open beer bottles with his teeth. Draft sentences The new parents named their baby girl Neptunia. That is an unusual name. Combined The new parents named their baby girl Neptunia, an unusual name.
D. Combining Short Sentences The first time you write a paragraph, you may find some short, choppy sentences in it. Here is an example of a paragraph full of such sentences. I enjoy Christmas very much. I like shopping. I like decorating the tree. I like giving presents I enjoy eating. On Christmas Day. I enjoy eating turkey. I like a lot of dressing. I like pumpkin pie. I also like being with the family. I like seeing ray grandmother. I like seeing my nieces.
The short sentences are choppy and not easy or pleasant to read. Here is a revised version of the same paragraph with some of the short sentences combined. I enjoy Christmas very much. I like shopping and decorating the tree, and I also enjoy giving presents. On Christmas Day, I love eating all the turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie. Finally, I look forward to being with the family and seeing my grandmother and nieces in particular.
As you can see, the revised paragraph is smoother and more pleasant to read than the first version. The thoughts expressed are the same, but the sentences are smoother and stronger. Here are some basic techniques for combining short sentences. Eliminate words that are repeated in sentences. 2. Group similar words or sets of words together. 3. Use the joining word and to combine words or groups of words. 4. Use commas (,) to separate words or groups of words that are joined.
Here are four examples of short sentences combined to form better single sentences. In each new sentence formed, some words have been eliminated and some have been grouped together. Notice the use of commas (,) in the new sentences. Short Sentences: Jules is sweet. He is considerate. He is loving. Combined: Jules is sweet, considerate, and loving. Short Sentences: Mary went to the store. Julie went to the store. Maria went to the store. Combined: Mary, Julie,. and Maria went to the store.
Short Sentences: I like your Chevrolet. It is a 1956. It is green. It is a two-door. Combined: I like your green, two-door 1956 Chevrolet. Short Sentences: Jack applied for a job. He went for an interview. He was hired. Combined: Jack applied: for a job, went for an interview, and was hired.
E. Sentence Variety Through Participle Phrases Use an-ing or-ed phrase at some point in a sentence. Look at these examples: The doctor, hoping for the best, examined the x- rays. Jogging every, I soon increased my energy level. The rabbit perched on the edge of the patio, chewing the new grass. Tired of studying, I took a short break. Mary, amused by the joke, told it to a friend. My eyes opened wide, shocked by the red "F" on my paper.
F. –ly Openers Use an-ly word to open a sentence. Here are examples: Gently, he mixed the chemicals together. Anxiously, the contestant looked at the games clock. Skillfully, the quarterback rifled a pass to his receiver.
G. to Openers Use a to word group to open a sentence. Here are examples: To succeed in that course, you must attend every class. To help me sleep better, I learned to quiet my mind through mediation. To get good seat, we went to the game early.