Questions tagged [sentence-structure]

This tag should be used for questions about structuring your sentences in certain genres or for certain characters in your writing.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
78
votes
9answers
11k views

Should an emoji come before or after a full-stop? 🤔

When I make a hilarious joke on social media it's easy to put an emoji/emoticon/smiley on the end. 😀 But sometimes I want to set the context and make a more reasoned argument over a paragraph or so. ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

How can I improve my sentence construction or flow in general writing?

Can anyone suggest resources or techniques I can use to improve my sentence construction when writing? I am a native English speaker and fairly well educated, but confess I didn't pay much attention ...
10
votes
10answers
3k views

Very long sentences: personal style or just bad writing?

I'm writing a story targeted towards children in which the protagonist is a young girl. I find that in writing her dialog and the narrative, I'm producing a lot of very long sentences, to the point ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the effect of placing “of course” at the beginning or at the end of the sentence?

Example from my writing: Not everything was rainbow and roses, of course. Sometimes rain would fall on my head or a thorn prickle my finger. Of course, not everything was rainbow and roses. ...
9
votes
4answers
503 views

Sentence starters for summaries?

I'm writing a technical book (step-by-step sort of book) and noticed that all my summaries start with 'In this chapter we ...'. What would be some other sentence starters that I could use to make the ...
6
votes
3answers
219 views

Which authors' style would be more appropriate for me to write in? [closed]

When I study the style of Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and other authors, I find that they use very simple language and simple words. But when I look at present day authors, such as Stephenie ...
6
votes
4answers
827 views

How do you use adverbs properly in fiction writing?

How do you use adverbs properly in fiction writing? In a related question, a reply states: When to use [adverbs]? When your alternative would be pretentious. There are strong nouns and verbs, that ...
6
votes
5answers
183 views

How to construct quality long sentences?

I want to construct long sentences, for fiction. I do use subordinate conjunctions and coordinate conjunctions, and I also understand different kind of phrases, and grammatical rules. But I still ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Starting a sentence with well. Does my sentence need to be changed?

I had a colleague today point out that the use of well in the following sentence is a typo. I think it makes sense but now I'm second guessing myself. Is this correct? If not, what would be a better ...
5
votes
2answers
278 views

Are run-on sentences always bad?

(TW, depression related stuff?) In my AP Lang class, we've recently started an activity called Visiting Author, where a student does a cold read of a piece they wrote and the others give criticism ...
5
votes
2answers
245 views

Parentheses in scientific writing

I occasionally use parentheses in scientific writing when a piece of information is related to a previous statement but not to the central story. Is it bad style in scientific writing to use ...
5
votes
2answers
579 views

How do I make a concluding sentence flow from the previous sentence?

This question was flagged as being similar to another question of mine, so I have to clarify that this question pertains to how I should introduce the concluding sentence, whereas the other one ...
4
votes
4answers
155 views

Is it good to add 'I believe' at the beginning of the sentence?

I believe that people should eat apples. or, People should eat apples. Which one is best, or when to use which? Is it good to say 'I believe' or 'We believe' in public speaking or public ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

Why is the construct “'hello' says Pete” most common?

I am asking this from the point of a reader not a writer and just wondering why, so sorry if this is a bad place. I read loads of books to my kids and the construct always seems to go: "What a day,...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

Repetitive sentences

How do I start off sentences without them being too repetitive and boring? I have a problem of starting a sentence with something like "The person" and end up using "The person" in the next one again.
4
votes
2answers
119 views

Is there a rule against chopped sentences?

I'm beta reading a book with a lot of chopped sentences. I understand that this writer would like to make their sentences short and punchy. But it is disturbing when sentences are either lacking in a ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

When should you use extra long sentences, never?

I often see world-renowned thinkers and writers, such as Nietszche and Herman Melville, write extremely long sentences. When I was in high school, people said sentences should be as short as possible, ...
3
votes
3answers
120 views

Increasing the flow in descriptions of a sequence of events

Thomas appeared behind Daniel and shook him by the neck, which brought him down to his knees. Thomas kicked him and then kicked away the gun that Daniel dropped making sure he wouldn't be able to ...
3
votes
3answers
153 views

How do you write long, nonconvoluted sentences?

Sometimes, when I show others a long sentence I have written, I am told it is convoluted due to the chaining of dependent clauses. Is there a way to keep tacking on modifiers and dependent clauses to ...
3
votes
4answers
160 views

How do you write short-short nonfiction?

I need to write an opinion, narrative of only 80 words in length. Examples: write about your fondest childhood memory/comment: homework should be banned, etc. How are short-short pieces like this ...
3
votes
2answers
302 views

Sentence Variety

Writers always talk about the importance of sentence variety in writing, but they never say which sentence type one should use for a specific scenario. So when do I use simple, complex, compound, and ...
3
votes
2answers
900 views

Alternatives to starting a sentence with well [closed]

I'm new to narrative writing and especially have trouble with dialogue. I too often am using the word well to start a character's sentence after receiving some information to then ask a question about ...
3
votes
4answers
213 views

How can I shorten a piece of writing without losing its original essence?

I need to know how to make my writing more brief without maring its original meaning and message. I have been struggling with that for a while, and still cannot do that. It simply seems to me that you ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Using rhythm to evoke emotion

When writing there is one area I am not great at leveraging. That's rhythm or meter. I don't hear meter naturally like some people do so I have to really break down the meter in order to work on it. ...
2
votes
6answers
140 views

How to decide which sentence structure is correct?

I'm trying to describe an action (a gust of wind blows) and its result (the flame is doused) and its subsequent effect (the room is plunged into darkness). However, I'm facing some issues with how to ...
2
votes
1answer
286 views

Should I use colons and semicolons to summarize information?

I'm writing a paper that goes something like this: To quickly summarize MIT is located in Massachusetts FIU is in Florida, The tuition cost for MIT is 45 thousand versus 6 thousand for 30 credits ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Sentence structure alternatives

Could you suggest a style guide or an exercise book that could teach how one sentence can be written in alternative ways, or how to rephrase a sentence in various structures, especially sentences ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

How would I extend a line in poetry?

I'm writing a villanelle as a school project and one of my lines is too short. Can somebody give me tips on how to extend the line?
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Subtle Difference in Sentence Structure [closed]

"P-P-Potter," stammered Professor Quirrel. He grasped Harry's hand. V.S. "P-P-Potter," stammered Professor Quirrel, grasping Harry's hand. In the first sentence, it feels as though Professor ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

How to “Show” and not “Tell” for nervousness?

I was told to ask this question here. There’s a saying in writing to “show; don’t tell”. For example, instead of naming the emotion, “She was angry”, you would show the emotions happening by saying, “...
1
vote
5answers
440 views

Is the following sentence structure allowed in fiction?

I'm not very sure why, but the following sentence structure came out from my mind: Disclaimer: this is a first draft. The realization just came to her now. Or perhaps, she knew it all along; it ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Is it necessary to use words like “said”, “asked,” etc in dialog?

I am writing a novel. I'm not sure if the below sentence structure is correct. I have not used any word like said/replied/asked. He was looking at the painting. “You do not have to believe me. I will ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Is my usage of this word correct? [closed]

'The ambit of his patience" I'm not sure if I've used the word ambit correctly here. Could someone tell me what context it can be used in / examples to go with?
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Topic Sentence in a two-sided essay

I am writing a two-sided essay, and my teacher told me to underline the topic sentence in every paragraph. But I have a problem. First, take a look at the essay structure: [1] Hook, small context, ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

How to write a note to the teacher? [closed]

How can write a note to the teacher informing her that my child needs to leave at 2:45 ( when the second bus load of students leave) on Wednesdays instead of her regular time 2:35 pm? She needs to ...
0
votes
2answers
144 views

What is the rule for commas?

How many commas is too many commas? For example: By looking at our data we can see a clear pattern, or trend, in our data that, as the steepness of the inclined plane increases, the effort force ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

What Are Some Practical Ways to Write a Sequence of Actions?

I am writing a scene where a character is performing a series of actions but for some reason the sentence flow isn't quite working for me. The problem is over-reliance on "Then". This is a ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Hyphen or no-hyphen for adjective phrase for impact/emphasis/clarity?

Here are two alternatives, one with a hyphen of previously-obscured one without as previously obscured: As our global society becomes evermore connected, we become increasingly aware of the ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Does this sentence make sense grammatically? Is there anything I can do to improve it? [closed]

"The meticulously placed masses of skin under her eyes were captured involuntarily by the customary light fixtures of the hospital ward, sufficiently polluted with the indistinct clamour of her ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

How to state multiple instances of evidence?

A would always lie about B. He told everybody he was weak. Furthermore he told all the adults how he enjoyed travelling, even though he did not. Furthermore he told people how much he enjoyed good ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Use of 'nigh' in fiction [closed]

First post here. Some background first: I write follow ups to my Pathfinder table session from the perspective of my character. These are shared, and read along with other player's own contributions....
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Which sentence is grammatically correct? [closed]

Question.. Which sentence is grammatically correct below? It forces me to confront my issues as there are no visible clutter that is distracting me. or It forces me to confront my issues as there ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Good rule of thumb when varying sentence lengths/structure [duplicate]

My question is, are there any good rules on how to vary your sentence length/structure to keep your writing interesting? Eg. start out with shorter sentences and then start to lengthen the sentences.....
0
votes
1answer
24 views

mentioning time span in a thesis (from 2019 to 2020)

I would like to know if there is a need for the word "year" in this part of the sentence: "..., that took place from the 2019 to 2020,...". Should it be: "..., that took ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Book on sentence structure/variety

Is there a good book on sentence structure and variety? My goal is to improve the way my sentences flow on the page and to improve the reader experience.
0
votes
1answer
66 views

How do I rephrase this overly long descriptive sentence? [closed]

I'm trying to describe the landscape of a dystopian city but I'm getting tripped up. "The city is rather a hellish sight: the endless, monotonous rows of buildings are lit up by industrial ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

A better sentence for a sequence of events [closed]

This is an extract from my personal 300 word writeup about a video. Can anyone suggest a smoother way to write my final paragraph? The first paragraph is just to add in more context but feel free to ...
-1
votes
3answers
155 views

Why don't writers add commas to lengthy sentences, to make them far more readable?

Prof. Brooks Landon, U. Iowa, Ph.D. U. Texas at Austin. Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Great Courses) (2013). p. 124.         Listen to the striking ...
-1
votes
2answers
269 views

Is sentence in English with long subject bad?

I heard from someone that in English, sentences with a long subject are considered confusing and hard to read. Is it true? An example for such a sentence: ...(Some statements about how ...
-1
votes
0answers
29 views

Can you help me find the topic sentence, main idea and the too general and too specific (main idea) in the text below? [closed]

Below is the text China is Talking Trash China has recognized the value of trash and is buying as much US. refuse as it can get its hands on. The Wall Street Journal related this llustrative tale. In ...