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Writing Good Sentences Text

Writing Good Sentences Text

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12/05/2013

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WRITINGGOODSENTENCES
AFUNCTIONALAPPROACHTOSENTENCESTRUCTURE,GRAMMAR,ANDPUNCTUATION
CLAUDEW.FAULKNER
PROFESSOROFENGLISHUNIVERSITYOFARKANSAS
ThirdRevisedEdition
CHARLESSCRIBNER'SSONSNEWYOR'-,N.Y.
 
[HAPTERI
WORDSANDSENTENCES
LANGUAGEisprimarilyameansofcommunicatingthoughtsfromonepersonto
another.'
Obviously,then,themajorconcernofthewriterorspeakeristouselanguageinsuchawaythatitwillcommunicate tootherpeopletheexactmeaningwhichhewishestoconvey. Thesmallestindependentlanguageunitisthe
word-a
writtenorspoken
symbol
whichstandsfor
concept
or
idea.
Thewrittensymbol
sofa,
forexample,standsforthe
concept
ofaparticulartypeoffurniture.Withreferencetowords,theprimaryproblemofthewriterorspeakeristoselectthat
word-thatsymbol-
whichmostaccuratelyrepresentstheconceptwhich'hehasinmind. Howdoesoneselecttheproperwordtofitaconcept?Usuallyonemerelyimitateswhateveruseof wordshehasseenorheard.Sincethemeaningofaworddependsuponusage,thisimitativeprocedureis quite
satisfactory-if
apersonissurethattheusageheisimitatingisgenerallyaccepted.Theonlywaythat onecanbecertainofthis,however,istoconsultadictionarywheneverheisindoubtabouttheaccepted meaningofaword.Agooddictionary-anaccuraterecordofwordusage-isaninvaluableaidinselecting theexactwordtousetoconveyaparticularconcept. Amuchmoredifficultprocessthantheselectionofa
word
tocommunicatea
concept
istheconstructionofa
sentence
tocommunicatea
thought.
A
sentence
isa
combinationofwords
whichconveysatleastone
completethought
consistingofa
combinationofconcepts.
Thusthesentence
Isawhim
isacombinationof threewordsconveyingacompletethoughtconsistingofacombinationofthreedifferentconcepts.Withref- erencetosentences,theprimaryproblemofthewriterorspeakeristocombinewordsinsuchawaythatthey willaccuratelycommunicatethethoughtwhichhehasinmind. Howdoesoneknowhowtocombineindividualwordsintocorrectsentences?Liketheselectionof words,thisprocessis,forthemostpart,purelyimitative.Oneusuallysimplypatternshissentencesafter thosehehasreadandheard.Byitself,however,thisimitativeprocedureisnotlikelytoproduceanabilityto writegoodsentences.Foronecanneverbecertainthatthelanguageofthewritingandspeechwhichheis imitatingisitselfacceptable,norcanhebesurethatheisimitatingitaccuratelyandintelligently.Something morethanimitationisnecessary.Thatsomethingisanunderstandingofsentencestructure. ThefollowingchapterspresentathoroughstudyofEnglishsentencestructuredesignedtoteachthe studenttoconstructsentenceswhichwillcommunicatehisthoughtsaccurately.Sincethecompositionofa correctsentencenecessarilyinvolvesproperwordchoice,weshallgivesomeattentiontotheselectionofwords. However,thoughthestudentwillbeexpectedtousetheutmostcareinchoosingwordswhenhecomposes thesentencesrequiredbytheexercises,themainemphasisofthisbookisnotuponvocabularybutuponthe writingofsentenceswhichareconstructedandpunctuatedproperly.
1
Language.isalsoameansofcommunicatingemotionorfeelings.
"-------_./
 
CHAPTERII
THESENTENCE:SUBJEl:TSA.NDVERBS
THOUGHsentencesvarygreatlyinlengthandcomplexity,everysentence-ifitistoconveyathought accurately-mustcontaincertainbasicelementsandmustfollowcertainbasicprinciplesofstructure.Inour studyofthesentence,weshallstartwithsentenceswhichcontainonlythebasicfunctionalelementsandwhich thereforedisplaythebasicstructuralpatternswithoutanyelaboration.Then,buildinguponthisfoundation, weshallextendourstudytoincludeelements,functions,andstructuralpatternswhicharenotbasicand whichmayormaynotappearinanygivensentence. Firstofall,weshallconsidersubjectsandverbs.Letusexaminethefollowingsimple,basicsentences:
Dogs
bark. The
log
burned.
We
likemusic.The
child
wrotealetter.
BiU
isareporter.
She
seemedgraceful.Eachofthesesentenceshasa
subject-the
wordwhichisitalicized.Infact,everysentencehasa
subject-a
word(orgroupofwords)whichnamesorindicatesapersonorthingaboutwhichsomethingissaid.Inadditiontothesubject,everysentencemusthavea
verb-a
word(orgroupofwords)whichsayssomethinaboutthesubject,indicatingaction,possession,orstateofbeing.Notetheverbsintheexamplesalready given:Dogs
bark.
Thelog
burned.
We
like
music.Thechild
wrote
aletter.Bill
is
areporter.She
seemed
graceful.Note:Usuallytheverbofasentenceiseasiertolocatethanthesubject.Oncetheverbislocated,thefollowing methodmaybeusedtofindthesubjectoftheverb:1.Formaquestionbyplacing
who
or
what
beforetheverb.2.Theanswertothequestionisthesubjectoftheverb.Childrenplay.
Who
play?Children.Thesubjectoftheverbis
children.
Thethunderfrightensthedog.
What
frightens?Thunder.Thesubjectoftheverbis
thunder.
Thebookseemslong.
What
seems?Book.Thesubjectoftheverbis
book.
Themanwaspromoted.
Who
waspromoted?Man.Thesubjectoftheverbis
man.
Thismethodofdeterminingthesubjectisparticularlyusefulwhenasentence
IS
complicatedorhasunusualwordorder.
2
"'---------/

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