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Sentence Combining

Sentence Combining

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Sentence Combining

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  1. Sentence Combining The Art of Making Better Sentences

  2. Why Combine Sentences? • To avoid monotony • To provide rhythms of varied sentence length and structure • To strike interest in the reader • To avoid choppy sentences • To eliminate redundancies • To tighten wordy sentences • To avoid unnecessary repetition of words • To cut empty inflated phrases

  3. How to Sentence Combine: • A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses. That means that there are at least two units of thought within the sentence, either one of which can stand by itself as its own sentence. • The clauses of a compound sentence are either separated by a semicolon or connected by a coordinating conjunction (which is preceded by a comma). • Coordinating conjunctions are: • And • But • Or • For • Nor • Yet • So

  4. How to Sentence Combine: • Coordinating clauses simply link ideas; subordinating one clause to another establishes a more complex relationship between ideas, showing that one idea depends on another in some way: a chronological development, a cause-and-effect relationship, a conditional relationship, etc. • Example: Although it is raining, I will still go to the game.

  5. How to Sentence Combine: • The appositive is probably the most efficient technique for combining ideas. An appositive or an appositive phrase is a renaming, a re-identification, of something earlier in the text. • An appositive is often, but not always, a parenthetical element which requires a pair of commas to set it off from the rest of the sentence. • Example: Sacagawea, who was one of the Indian wives of Charbonneau, who was a French fur-trader, accompanied the expedition as a translator.

  6. How to Sentence Combine: • Integrate the idea of one sentence into a larger structure by turning that idea into a modifying phrase. • Example: Captain Lewis allowed his men to make important decisions in a democratic manner. This democratic attitude fostered a spirit of togetherness and commitment on the part of Lewis's fellow explorers. Allowing his men to make important decisions in a democratic manner, Lewis fostered a spirit of togetherness and commitment among his fellow explorers.

  7. How to Make Sentences Clear: • Stay away from jargon • Avoid pretentious language • Avoid obsolete and invented words • Avoid slang • Avoid regional expressions • Avoid nonstandard English • Chose an appropriate level of formality • Avoid sexist language • Use exact words…be careful of the connotation and denotation…idioms…clichés…figures of speech

  8. Checklist for New Sentences: • Meaning. As far as you can determine, have you conveyed the idea intended by the original author? • Clarity. Is the sentence clear? Can it be understood on the first reading? • Coherence. Do the various parts of the sentence fit together logically and smoothly? • Emphasis. Are key words and phrases put in emphatic positions (usually at the very end or at the very beginning of the sentence)? • Conciseness. Does the sentence clearly express an idea without wasting words? • Rhythm. Does the sentence flow, or is it marked by awkward interruptions? Do the interruptions help to emphasize key points (an effective technique), or do they merely distract (an ineffective technique)?