Combining Sentences and Inserting Phrases
Combining Sentences n Short sentences are often effective; however, a long, unbroken series of them can sound choppy. For example, notice how dull the following paragraph sounds: n I have seen a lot of earthling-meets-alien movies. I have seen The Last Starfighter. I have seen all the Star Trek movies. I have noticed something about these movies. I have noticed that there are good humans and bad humans in these movies. I have noticed there are good and bad aliens in these movies.
Combining Sentences #2 n Paragraphs sound much more interesting when the short, choppy sentences are combined into longer, smoother sentences. n For Example: n I have seen a lot of earthling-meets-alien movies, including The Last Starfighter and all of the Star Trek movies. I have noticed that there are good and bad humans in these movies as well as good and bad aliens.
Inserting Words You can combine short sentences by inserting a key word from one sentence into another. You usually need to eliminate some words in sentences that are combined. You may also need to change the form of the key word. n Example: n n n Original: Edgar Allan Poe led a short life. His life was tragic. Combined: Edgar Allan Poe led a short, tragic life.
Inserting Words #2 n You may also need to change the form of the word when combining your sentences. n n Original: Edgar Allan Poe wrote strange stories. He wrote horror stories. Combined: Edgar Allan Poe wrote strange, horrifying stories.
Inserting Phrases n You can also combine closely related sentences by taking a phrase from one sentence and inserting it into another sentence.
Prepositional Phrases n Has a preposition as its object and any modifiers of that object can usually be inserted into another sentence with no changes. You must simply omit some of the words in one of the sentences. n Example: n n Original: Twelve million immigrants came to the shores of the U. S. They came through Ellis Island. Revised: Twelve million immigrants came to the shores of the U. S. through Ellis Island.
Participial Phrases Contains a verb form that usually ends in –ing or –ed. n Participial phrases act in the same way as an adjective (they modify a noun or a pronoun) n You can change the verb from one sentence into a participle by adding –ing or –ed or by dropping the helping verb if the main verb already ends in –ing or –ed. n
Participial Phrases 2 n Example combination sentences using participial phrases: n n Original: Many immigrants faced long months of waiting at Ellis Island. They were weakened by their journeys. Revised: Many immigrants, weakened by their journeys, faced long months of waiting at Ellis Island.
Appositive Phrases n n Usually follows a noun or pronoun and helps to identify it. Sometimes you can combine sentences that have nouns or pronouns referring to the same thing by changing one of the sentences to an appositive phrase.
Appositive Phrases 2 n Example combination sentences using appositive phrases: n n Original: My grandfather was an immigrant. My grandfather brought with him photographs that are now souvenirs. Revised: My grandfather, an immigrant, brought with him photographs that are now souvenirs.