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Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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cgalmond
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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby cgalmond » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:52 am

I would benefit from these lessons i need teaching now.

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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby ebrightken » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:24 pm

Jan:
What is a difference or is there a difference between a simple sentence and a non simple sentence? Using two sentences could you dhow me the difference?

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glorybee
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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby glorybee » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:50 pm

ebrightken wrote:Jan:
What is a difference or is there a difference between a simple sentence and a non simple sentence? Using two sentences could you dhow me the difference?


Ken, a simple sentence has one subject and one verb.

Simple sentence: Jan loves her granddaughters.

In that sentence, Jan is the subject (what the sentence is about) and loves is the verb (the action).

There are lots of non-simple sentence types. Sentences can be compound, complex, or compound-complex, and they can have more than one subject or verb. It's not super important to know the labels for each sentence, but here are a few examples:

Compound sentence: Jan loves her granddaughters, and she visits them whenever she can.

Complex sentence: When Jan thinks about her granddaughters, she smiles at their silly antics.

Compound-complex: When Jan thinks about her granddaughters, Jan smiles at their silly antics and she vows to visit them more often.

As I said, there are other types of non-simple sentences, but the important thing is not their labels. The important thing is to be aware of the sentence structures you use most often, and to make sure that you occasionally combine a few short sentences into longer ones to give your story better flow. If you see that a lot of your sentences are similar, work to find new ways to say the same thing. So if you have a lot of simple sentences like this:

George walked into the room and closed the door.
Betty saw a sparrow on the windowsill.
Ben took his lunch out of the locker.
June wished she was skinnier.

...you can look to find ways to rearrange words or add to the sentence to make it more interesting.

After George sneaked into the room, he silently closed the door behind him.
A sparrow hopping on the windowsill captured Betty's attention.
Peanut butter again! Ben looked at the lunch he had just taken out of his locker in dismay.
I wish I was skinnier, June thought with a sigh.

I've posted lessons here in the past few weeks on the other sentence structures, but everything you really need to know is in a nutshell here. Please let me know if I can clarify any further!
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby amilli » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:12 pm

I know am late but am still joining in. I did the assignment on counting sentences & simple sentences. Am not quite sure if I need to post a link here for my piece, but it's a challenge entry of 738 words, 53 sentences, and 40 simple sentences. (Hope I got it right) It's actually harder than I thought to distinguish these sentences.

Yes, am one of those writers who write from the ideas that pops to mind, giving little consideration to sentence variation.

Here is my question; are these classified as simple sentences: "Whew" or "Stop"
I have seen them and others of like fashion in lots of published articles; and have even used then myself in my articles. Are they not sentences?
Amelia

My writing is a passion, not a hobby!

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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby glorybee » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:48 pm

Amelia,

"Whew!" and "Stop" are interjections. In the case of "Stop," there is an implied subject, [You]. They are not really complete sentences, but that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with them. They're perfectly fine in dialog, as that's the way people speak.
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby lish1936 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:42 pm

Jan, I just wrote this comment on a challenge story. I remember what you said about semicolons, but I'm having second thoughts about that comma after "and". Somehow it looks incorrect, and so does the period in the previous sentence.:-)

Consider the correct use of semicolons.
For ex:
"But suddenly we find a crowd has materialised all around us; and we have no fish to sell them." If you use the word "and", then a comma should be used.


Thanks,

Lillian
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I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby glorybee » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:53 pm

lish1936 wrote:Jan, I just wrote this comment on a challenge story. I remember what you said about semicolons, but I'm having second thoughts about that comma after "and". Somehow it looks incorrect, and so does the period in the previous sentence.:-)

Consider the correct use of semicolons.
For ex:
"But suddenly we find a crowd has materialised all around us; and we have no fish to sell them." If you use the word "and", then a comma should be used.


Thanks,

Lillian


Here are several correct ways to write the above sentence:

1. But suddenly we find a crowd has materialised all around us; we have no fish to sell them.

2. But suddenly we find a crowd has materialised all around us and we have no fish to sell them.

3. But suddenly we find a crowd has materialised all around us. We have no fish to sell them.

4. Suddenly we find a crowd has materialised all around us, but we have no fish to sell them.

Not having read the entire story, I think I'd prefer #2 or #4, but they're all fine, with very tiny nuances of difference among them.
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby lish1936 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:52 pm

Thanks Jan, for that answer. However, I was thinking more of my response as to whether the following is correct.


In putting a word in quotes that refers back to how the original was used do you write it as:

"and",....or as "and,"...? I know that generally the comma comes before the quote, but what do you do when you're quoting a word from a sentence to highlight it?

I apologize for not making the question more clear. :sorry

Lillian
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I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby glorybee » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:44 pm

Ah! Sorry that I misunderstood.

In the US, punctuation always goes inside quotation marks. So:

If you use the word "and," then a comma should be used.

The UK has slightly different rules for punctuation and quotation marks, so if your writer is British (or from some other UK English country), then the above rule will be wrong many times. So if you know that your writer is from a UK country, that advice will be wrong.
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be a Better Writer--SIMPLE SENTENCES

Postby lish1936 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:11 pm

:lol: I was just going to tell you that I discovered the answer during my reading of this week's lesson.

"The literary term that is the topic of this lesson literally means “god from the machine,” but although it references ‘god,’ it is not a faith-related term."

Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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