Edward Kim

Week 4: More Commas, Parallel Structure, and Sentence Variety

  • define setnece variety and explain why it’s important
  • identify ways to create sentence variety
  • use sentence variety in your writing

More Comma Use

Learning Objectives

  • use commas correctly in a series
  • use commas correctly in compound sentences
  • use commas correctly in complex sentences
  • use commas correctly to indicate extra information or interruption Reminder

Compound Sentences

  • join two independent clauses with a comma and a conjunction
  • join two independent clauses with a transition word, a semicolon, and a comma

Series

Three or more items, put the comma between items.

Introductory Phrases

  • Due to the bad weather, our game was canceled.
  • On Monday, my teacher announced a test.
  • After dinner, Steve watched the news.
  • Because of traffic, we were late to the theater.
  • For several months, I have been playing the guitar.

An introductory phrase is a group of words that starts given sentence, but does not belong to the main clause of the sentence.

Interrupting Phrases

  • The mayor, by the way, will be at the meeting.
  • This is the reason, therefore, that you should buy a house.
  • Joe wants to buy a house, too.

These phrases are able to place anywhere in sentence.

  • My roommate, who hates seafood, doesn’t want me to cook shrimp.
  • The dress, which I bought for tonight, is too tight for me to wear.

These are adjective clauses for extra information, so it need to be distinguished with commas.

Quiz

  • Children whose brains are still developing should not watch too much TV.
  • The election was closer actually than most people expected.
  • In my view there are no good reasons to steal.
  • Besides cash the restaurant accepts credit cards and checks.
  • Quietly the mouse took the cheese and ran.

Answer:

  • Children, whose brains are still developing, should not watch too much TV.
  • The election was closer, actually, than most people expected.
  • In my view, there are no good reasons to steal.
  • Besides cash, the restaurant accepts credit cards and checks.
  • Quietly, the mouse took the cheese and ran.

Review

  • Compound sentences
  • Series
  • Introductory phrases
  • Interrupting phrases and clauses

Revisited Practice

  • We planned to watch TV all night although we had a lot of homework and studying to do.
  • This furniture is made of the finest oak and maple woods but is reasonably priced because the store wants to sell it all.
  • The soccer team celebrated its victory by going to Disneyland, and everyone had a great time.
  • The professor told students that the exam would be on the next Friday and that they should study two chapters for it.

Therefore vs. Therefore

  • Compound Sentence

    • Jane loves books; therefore, she reads them all the time.
  • Introductory Phrase

    • Jane loves books. Therefore, she read them all the time.
  • Intrrupting Phrase

    • Jane loves books and, therefore, reads them all the time.
  • This is the reason, therefore, that you should buy a house.

    • Complex sentence, intrruping phrase
  • Growing houseplants is diffcult; therefore, I asked my mom tfor some help.

    • Two independent clauses, Compound sentence
  • Mike lost his job as a policeman. Therefore, he is going back to school.

    • Introductory phrase

Some other transitions with different uses

However, First, Furthermore, In addition, Likewise, THus, Also

Practice

  • Allison brought her lunch to work and, thus, won’t go to a restaurant with us.
  • Pete likes sailing; however, he doesn’t have a boat.
  • Roger is a great teacher. In addition, he ais a friendly person.
  • I saw my doctor at the park, and I saw my teacher there, aslo.

Transition words can be punctuated in several different ways.

Parallel Structure

Learning Objectives

  • write sentences that have good parallel structure
  • correct sentences that have faulty parallel structure

Parallel means balanced.

  • He loves to swim and sleep.
  • Cake and cookies are both fattening.
  • We were hot, tired, and thirsty.

Parallel Structure: A and B, A but B, both A and B, not only A but also B

I was looking for an apartment that was both close to my work and easy to afford.

  • I want to find a gym that is not only close to my apartment but also I want to find a cheap one. (x)
  • I want to find a gym that is not only close to my apartment but also affordable.
  • He is afraid of being alone but not to die. (x, gerund, infinitive)
  • He is afraid of being alone but not dying.

Sentence Variety

Learning Objectives

  • define sentence variety and explain why it’s important
  • identify ways to create sentence variety
  • use sentence variety in your writing

By the type of sentences

  • Simple

    • The grass grows in spring.
  • Compound

    • Grass grows in spring, but it dies in winter.
  • Complex

    • Because it is too cold, grass doesn’t grow in winter.
  • Compound-Complex (2 independent cluases and dependent clause)

    • Because grass needs warm weather, it doesn’t grow in winter, but it grows in the summer.

FANBOYS conjunction: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet

Way to start sentences

  • Adverbs

    • Quietly, Every day, Frequently
  • Prepositional Phrases

    • In the morning, Due to stree, After work
  • Other transitions

    • The last reason…, Another cause of …is …, For Example, Furthermore

By length of the sentences

  • Short sentences

    • Use effectively
    • Avoid choppy sentences
  • Medium sentences

    • 10-15 words
  • Long sentences

    • 20-40 words

By using synonyms

  • Repeat key nouns

    • The employee … the employee … employees …
    • use too many times, that can get kind of boring
  • Use synonyms for variety

    • The employee … workers … a worker … the staff … employees …
  • Say things in different ways

    • The employee … the worker … the person working in an office … a hired person … someone employed …

Summary

  • Uses different sentence tyles
  • Starts sentences differently
  • Uses different sentence lengths
  • Uses synonyms effectively

Writing an eassay

  • Pick a topic
  • Do some pre-writing
  • Write a thesis statement
  • Make an outline
  • Begin writing
  • Revise and edit: important think about sentence variety here

Resources