Category Archives: Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure in English

How to tell a story in a simple way…

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How to tell a story in a simple way…

I am trying to share a few of my intimate feelings about telling a story in a simple way.

Telling something complex in a simple way is difficult. Firstly, it depends on how you think. Secondly, how you put forward your logical thinking using blocks of sentences. Finally, those bocks should look good and sound meaningful.

Language has its own scientific rules. I am not a linguist, although I wish I had been. Whatsoever, I want to learn a few tricks to have my writings done in a meaningful way like a lady has done her hair or nails, in a beautiful way. Why they do so? They want to communicate. We all want to communicate. I also communicate using my words.

It is better to learn the rules of communication.

What are the rules?

Rules are not very complicated. They are simple as long as you accept them as your friends. When you don’t like rules, they become your enemies.

A sentence has two key things. Phrase and Clause.

Phrase consists of a combination of words. Nor it is a sentence, neither it is a part of a larger sentence. Consider a phrase – on the river.

On the other hand, a clause is either a sentence or a part of a larger sentence. Consider a clause – There is a house. Consider another clause – Where we live.

Now we understand one key difference between a phrase and a clause.

A phrase doesn’t have any finite verb. It might have other parts of speech. But a clause has a finite verb.

Now the time has come to add phrase and clause to make a complete sentence.

There is a house – on the river – where we live.

A house on the river.

Can we conclude anything from it?

Sure, we can. We can use a phrase inside clauses.

Are there anything else?

Yes, there are. But they are simple enough to understand.

A sentence has two key parts. Subject and predicate. The subject could be a noun, pronoun, noun clause, adjective or adverb clause. But what about the predicate? The predicate consists of the most important part of the sentence – a verb. We must remember that in parts of speech, verb has the higher order than a noun. Without a verb, a sentence is not grammatically complete.

What is a verb? A verb says something about a noun or a pronoun, communicating about the subject and object.

A sentence stands on the forms of verbs. A verb changes its forms and the meaning of a sentence depends on it.

Consider a sentence – We went to the market yesterday.

Let us change the form of the verbs and see what it communicates.

We went to the market yesterday but the flower shop had closed. Because we had been walking for a long time, we were tired so we didn’t search for another shop.

Now consider three different types of sentences communicating the same meaning.

Whether the shop was open was still unknown.

We went to the market but there was no surety whether the shop was open.

We didn’t know whether the shop was open.

The first one is a noun clause. The clause “whether the shop was open” has acted as noun in the first sentence.

In the second one, it acts as an adjective clause.

And in the last one, it acts as an adverbial clause.

What is the next big thing?

The relationship between a principal clause and sub-ordinate clause is the next big thing to understand how a sentence works.

The main verb always goes with the principal clause. Consider the following sentences.

That I will meet you in the evening is certain.

Where I will meet you in the evening is certain.

Who will meet me in the evening is certain.

Three noun clauses, here, act as subordinate clauses. In my opinion, the subordinate clause always plays the most important role when we build a sentence. Of course, without a principal clause a sentence cannot stand. But subordinate clauses make it interesting.

Addition and Extension in English Sentence: the simple short block method

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Addition and Extension in English Sentence: the simple short block method

I always maintain a rule: Don’t extend or expand your sentence too much. A sentence is a vehicle of an image, meaning, emotion, and many more things.

So I try to keep it as short as possible; so that each block carries its own meaning. I try to add those blocks in a decoupled way. The advantage is when one block gets corrupted, the other block does not get affected.

How we could try this technique?

Let me present a list first.

  • Addition and Extension: and.
  • Contrast: but, however.
  • Alternative: or
  • Cause: because
  • Time: when, while.

Let me present a few sentences using complex and compound structures.

A boy, named Rajanya, fell in love with a girl, named Nilopher; they decided to leave their village together after three days, which would be Sunday, a holiday. Nilopher’s cousin Farid knew the whole story because he had been a close friend of Rajanya, in fact, primarily he had acted upon as the mediator between them; although, Farid did not like this relationship from the core of his heart.

I have checked this text in Grammarly, and found this report:

  • This text scores better than 99% of all text checked by Grammarly where comparable goals were set.
  • Your text compares in readability to The New York Times. It is likely to be understood by a reader who has at least a 10th-grade education (age 16).
  • The readability score: 46

It was OK. But, not satisfactory. It has got readability score – 46. Now, I will try to make it, at least, above 60. Let me try.

Let me try to write the same text applying the simple short-block-method.

Rajanya fell in love with Nilopher.
They decided to leave their village together after three days. It would be Sunday, a holiday.
Nilopher’s cousin Farid knew the whole story. Farid had been a close friend of Rajanya. Primarily he had acted upon as the mediator between them.
Although, Farid hated this relationship from the core of his heart.

I checked it on Grammarly. Here is the report:

  • This text scores better than 97% of all text checked by Grammarly where comparable goals were set.
  • Your text is likely to be understood by a reader who has at least an 8th-grade education (age 13-14) and should be fairly easy for most adults to read.
  • The readability score: 64

Now, it is your turn to judge. Which one is better.

Sentence Structure: a few key points

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Extension

Two simultaneous things may take place at the same time.

While something was happening, something happened.

Contrast or Contrary

Good or bad may happen as a result.

Although I knew it was risky, I decided to accept the proposal.

Cause

One thing does or does not allow another thing to take place.

Because I was looking at the sea, I did not her her coming.

Possibility

A real or an imaginary situation where something would have acted upon or not.

If I was having shower, I could not take the call. (Imaginary)

I could take the call, if I had not had the shower. (Real)