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How to Use Sentence Variety to “Sweeten Up” Your Writing. People normally talk and write using one boring sentence pattern : subject/verb subject/verb subject/verb.
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Example:I have an adorable dog named Rosa. She is a little brown dachshund with beautiful eyes. Rosa sleeps on the couch most of the day. I throw her toy for her every day after school. My little dog is the cutest pet in the entire world!
Solution:Learn just a fewdifferent “fancy” sentence structures. After you finish a paragraph (or your entire paper), revise some of your sentences.
Answer:Start by revising about 1/2 of your sentences. (That’s about 2-3 per paragraph.) Then reread your paper. Revise some more if you think it would improve your paper.
Start with an –ing or –ed word.(Introductory Participial Phrase)Since –ing and –ed are verb endings, this sentence pattern starts with action!
Samlooked down the dark hallway. Hetried to imagine what could be hiding there.Looking down the dark hallway, Sam tried to imagine what could be hiding there.
Katiewas amazed at the size of the crocodile. Shetiptoed away from the edge of the river.Amazed at the size of the crocodile, Katie tiptoed away from the edge of the river.
Using an introductory participial phrase does two things:1. It “actions up” the start of the sentence.2. It helps you to combine two short sentences into one longer one.
Allieis the captain of the volleyball team. Sheis the best player.Allie, the captain of the volleyball team, is the school’s best player.
Start with an infinitive phrase(“to” plus a verb)Since an infinitive is a verb form, this sentence start is energetic and full of action.
Start with an introductory adverb clause(Adverb clause begins with a subordinating conjunction: when, while, until, since, because, if, after, before, although, even though, as long as, as soon as, as though, whenever . . .).
Ifinished my homework. Then Icalled Kelly.When I finished my homework, I called Kelly.Until I finished my homework, I could not call Kelly.
As soon as I finished my homework, . . .After I finished my homework, . . .Since I had not finished my homework, . . .Because I had not finished my homework, . . .
Compound sentence(Two short sentences connected by a comma and a conjunction: and, but, or, nor, for, yet)Compound sentences turn short, choppy sentences into longer, more interesting ones.
Wewent to a movie last night. Itwas exciting.We went to a movie last night, and it was exciting.We went to a movie last night, but it was boring.
Start with an introductory series of prepositional phrases(from, to, with, without, of, for, about, over, under, by, in, out, up . . .)