- Slides: 52
Combining Sentences One plus one equals one.
�� Why should we know about sentence combining? ♦To build clarity ♦To avoid wordiness ♦To avoid redundancy
Consider the following paragraph: The boy struggled to ride his bike. The boy is four years old and he is feisty. The bike is new and it is alight blue color. The boy received the bike for his birthday. He struggled for two hours. However, he was unsuccessful in riding the bike.
The feisty four-year-old boy struggled unsuccessfully for two hours to ride his new light blue birthday bike.
The animal trainer dove into the pool. The trainer was skilled and athletic. She was excited when she dove into the pool. She swam with two dolphins. The dolphins were babies. The dolphins were playful. The trainer swam with the dolphins for over an hour. When the trainer swam with the dolphins, she was happy.
The skilled, athletic animal trainer excitedly dove into the pool and happily swam for over an hour with two playful baby dolphins.
The blizzard contained strong winds and heavy snow. During the snowstorm, the roof of the town library collapsed. The roof of the post office did the same. The blowing snow covered the county roads. Schools cancelled classes due to the white-out conditions.
The blizzard, containing strong winds and heavy snow, caused the roofs of the town library and the post office to collapse, created white-out conditions on county roads, and forced schools to cancel classes.
Problems that crop up when combining sentences l l l Fragments Run-ons Adjectives Adverbs Series in a sentence Prepositional phrases l l l s/v agreement Appositives Compound sentences Complex sentences Relative pronouns
Problems that crop up when combining sentences (contd. ) l l Comma splices Misplaced modifiers Dangling modifiers Parallelism l l l Tense shifts Overuse of passive voice Floating pronouns
Combining Sentences Sentence combining is making one smoother, more detailed sentence out of two or more shorter sentences. l l l Combining with key words Combining with phrases Combining with longer sentences
Combining with KEY WORDS l Use a key word: Ideas included in short sentences can be combined by moving a key word from one sentence to the other.
Use an adjective l Short sentences: Kelly’s necklace sparkles. It is beaded. l Combined with an adjective: Kelly’s beaded necklace sparkles.
Try it! l Short sentences: The women always have to wait in a line. The line is long. l Combined with an adjective: The women always have to wait in a long line.
Use an adverb l Short sentences: I am going to a sleepover. I ‘m going tomorrow. l Combined with an adverb: Tomorrow I am going to a sleepover.
Try it! l Short Sentences: You are supposed to sit on the bus. You are supposed to sit quietly. l Combined with an adverb: You are supposed to sit quietly on the bus.
Use a series of words or phrases l l Short sentences: The reading teacher is organized. The reading teacher is funny. The reading teacher is helpful. Combined with a series of words: The reading teacher is organized, funny, and helpful.
Try it! l Short sentences: On Thanksgiving, we have turkey. We also have stuffing. We also have gravy. l Combined with a series of words: On Thanksgiving, we have turkey, stuffing, and gravy.
REMEMBER! All of the words or phrases in a series should be parallel (stated in the same way). Otherwise, the sentences will be unbalanced. Incorrect: My dog is friendly, playful, and he is smart, too. (The modifiers in the series are not parallel. ) Correct: My dog is friendly, playful, and smart. (All the words in the series are single-word adjectives. They are parallel. )
Correct it! l Incorrect: We can hike, ski, or we can snowboard down the mountain, too. l Correct: We can hike, ski, or snowboard down the mountain.
Combining with PHRASES l Use phrases: Ideas from short sentences can be combined into one sentence using phrases.
Combined with a prepositional phrase l Short sentences: Our cat curls up. He curls up on top of my homework. l Combined with a prepositional phrase: Our cat curls up on top of my homework.
Try it! l Short sentences: He signed his name. He signed it on a football. l Combined with a prepositional phrase: He signed his name on a football.
Combined with an appositive phrase l Short sentences: Mrs. Brown makes the best cookies on the block. Mrs. Brown is our next-door neighbor. l Combined with an appositive phrase: Mrs. Brown, our next-door neighbor, makes the best cookies on the block.
Try it! l Short sentences: Sam wants to be a professional baseball player. He is my brother’s best friend. l Combined with an appositive phrase: Sam, my brother’s best friend, wants to be a professional baseball player.
Use compound subjects and/or compound verbs l A compound subject is two or more subjects connected by a conjunction. l A compound verb is two or more verbs connected by a conjunction.
Combined with a compound subject l Short sentences: Jamie danced around the room. Mary danced around the room, too. l Combined with a compound subject: Jamie and Mary danced around the room.
Try it! l Short sentences: Sue rode her horse today. Scott rode his horse today. l Combined with a compound subject: Sue and Scott rode their horses today.
Combined with a compound verb l Short sentences: Janet skated onto the pond. She made a perfect figure eight. l Combined with a compound verb: Janet skated onto the pond and made a perfect figure eight.
Try it! l Short sentences: My teacher dropped her glasses. My teacher laughed. l Combined with a compound verb: My teacher dropped her glasses and laughed.
Combining with LONGER SENTENCES l l Use compound sentences Use complex sentences
Use compound sentences l A compound sentence is made up of two or more simple sentences joined together. The conjunction and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet are used to connect the simple sentences. l Remember to place a comma before a conjunction!
Use compound sentences l Simple sentences: My dog has hair hanging over his eyes. He looks just like a dust mop. l Combined with and: My dog has hair hanging over his eyes, and he looks just like a dust mop.
Try it! l Simple sentences: Mary wrote a book about the seasons. It was interesting. Combined with and: Mary wrote a book about the seasons, and it was interesting.
Use complex sentences l A complex sentence is made up of two ideas connected by a subordinating conjunction (because, when, since, after, before, though, although, if, unless, when, where, while, etc. ). l A complex sentence can also be combined by a relative pronoun (who, whose, which, and that).
Combine sentences using a subordinating conjunction l Simple sentences: My friend shares her lunch with me. She doesn’t like what her dad packs. l Combined with because: My friend shares her lunch with me because she doesn’t like what her dad packs.
Try it! l Simple sentences: We took the elevator to the second floor. The stairs were closed for repairs. l Combined with because: We took the elevator to the second floor because the stairs were closed for repairs.
Combine sentences using a relative pronoun l Simple sentences: Very cold weather closed school for a day. The cold weather came down from Canada. Combined with which: Very cold weather, which came down from Canada, closed school for a day.
Try it! l Simple sentences: Jack ran all the way to school. Jack was late this morning. l Combined using who: Jack, who was late this morning, ran all the way to school.
The Comma Splice l A writer creates a comma splice by joining 2 independent clauses with a comma instead of a conjunction. – Comma splice- It was a pleasure to meet you, I hope we can get together again soon. – Comma splice- The Internet has revolutionized the publishing business, online sales of books have skyrocketed in the past few years.
3 Fixes for the Comma Splice 1. Add a conjunction between the 2 clauses. 2. Start a new sentence. 3. If the independent clauses have a closely related topic, insert a semicolon between the two. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I hope we can get together again very soon.
3 Fixes for the Comma Splice (contd. ) 1. Add a conjunction between the 2 clauses. 2. Start a new sentence. 3. If the independent clauses have a closely related topic, insert a semicolon between the two. The Internet has revolutionized the publishing business; online sales of books have skyrocketed in the past few years.
Misplaced Modifiers l l Modifiers should be kept next to the word(s) to which they refer. Too great of a physical distance between modifier and object causes confusion because it’s not clear to which word the modifier is referring.
Misplaced Modifiers l l l Modifiers are words (adjectives or adverbs) that limit, qualify, or describe another word. Adjectives modify nouns - New car, old book, interesting class Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs ◦ She walked slowly. ◦ He drove a very fast car. ◦ The bride moved quite slowly down the aisle.
Misplaced Modifiers & Cousins Dangling and Squinting l I almost failed every art class I took. l I failed almost every art class I took. l We only collected 27 signatures on the petition. l We collected only 27 signatures on the petition. l Dangling: trying to modify something that has been left out of the sentence. l Squinting: placing the modifier between two likely choices.
Dangling Modifiers Most often occur at the beginnings and ends of sentences ♦ Usually indicated by an -ing verb or a to + verb phrase Example: Hiking the trail, the birds chirped loudly. (Were the birds hiking the trail? ) Example: Walking to the campsite in February, my nose began to run. (Was your nose out of breath after it broke into a run? Did your nose get to the campsite before the rest of your body? ) l
Dangling modifiers can be repaired l By making the subject of the modifier the subject of the independent clause: I was walking to the campsite in February, and my nose began to run. l By placing the subject of the action within the dangling phrase: As our group was hiking the trail, the birds chirped loudly.
Squinting Modifier a modifier sandwiched between two possible targets l Children who laugh rarely are shy. – Did the writer mean children who laugh infrequently are often shy, or that children who laugh often are typically not shy? – It’s impossible for the reader to figure out what the writer intended to say.
Misplaced Modifiers The other day I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I'll never know. -- Groucho Marx
Misplaced Modifiers l One-word modifiers are easily misplaced. Be sure to keep these words beside the word(s) they are modifying. only just hardly simply even nearly merely almost
Explain the meaning of each sentence: l l l Almost everyone in the class passed the calculus exam. Everyone in the class almost passed the calculus exam. Which sentence indicates that everyone in the class failed the exam?
Location, Location: It’s not just important for real estate! l Which of these projects is unlikely to pay you as a research assistant? l Our project received a grant for nearly one million dollars. l Our project nearly received a grant for one million dollars.