Five useful sentence patterns
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Five useful sentence patterns:. 1. The Actor  Action  Object sentence. Example: The balance sheet showed a significant loss. 2. The -ing or -ed opening with a comma. Example:Rifling through his papers, the salesman found the missing receipt.

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Five useful sentence patterns

Five useful sentence patterns:

1. The Actor  Action  Object sentence.

Example: The balance sheet showed a significant loss.

2. The -ing or -ed opening with a comma.

Example:Rifling through his papers, the salesman found the

missing receipt.

3. The -ing beginning without a comma.

Example: Joining Ralph meant everything to Sarah.

4. The middle break.

Example: Traffic snarled in front of the plant; Mr. Todd had

been playing police officer again.

3. The guide-word beginning.

Example: Reluctantly, the manager ordered the plant closed.


What to do about weak verbs

What to Do about Weak Verbs

Not:The promotion of creative

employees is the policy of this

company.

Instead:This company promotes

creative employees.

Convert weak verbs into strong verbs by asking “Who did what?”


What to do about passive verbs

What to Do about Passive Verbs

Not:The account was handled

carelessly.

Instead:Jack Bevins handled the account carelessly.

Notice that passive verbs often leave out the subject of the sentence.


What to do about a heavy noun style

What to Do about a Heavy Noun Style

Not:The unification of companies will prove beneficial to the establishment of financial arrangements more conducive to solvency and profitability.

Instead:Merging our companies will help solve our money problems.

Change heavy nouns to simple nouns, inserting verbs where possible.


What to do about noun clusters

What to Do about Noun Clusters

Not:Please write a minorities opportunity evaluation report.

Instead:Please write a report evaluating opportunities for minorities.

Change some nouns to verbs, inserting prepositions where possible.


What to do about slow sentence beginnings

What to Do about Slow Sentence Beginnings

Not:There are two financial packages suited to our needs.

Instead:Two financial packages suit our needs.

Put important words at the beginning of the sentence.


What to do about monotonous style

What to Do about Monotonous Style

Monotony:A meeting was held last Thursday. It was decided that the milling machine was beyond repair. A budget was established for rebuilding the machine. This repair should take approximately three weeks.

Variety:At last Thursday’s meeting, managers approved a budget for the repair of the milling machine. Barring unforeseen problems, repairs should take three weeks.

Readers prefer short sentences that can be read easily.


What to do about awkward repetitions

What to Do about Awkward Repetitions

Not:We reviewed the benefits package. The benefits package provided for most of

the health needs of employees.

Instead:We reviewed the benefits package and determined that it provided for most of the health needs of employees.

Instead:We reviewed the benefits package, which provided for most of the health needs of employees.

Change repeated nouns to synonyms, inserting verbs where possible.

(or)


What to do about too many prepositional phrases

What to Do about Too Many Prepositional Phrases

Not:We ran an advertisement in a trade journal in May for a manager of the sales division at our subsidiary in Wisconsin.

Instead:In May we ran a trade journal advertisement seeking a sales manager for our Wisconsin subsidiary.

Avoid long strings of prepositional phrases by converting them into two- or three-word descriptive phrases.


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