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The relationship between sentences is the link that conceptually ties one sentence to another sentence. The relationship may be explicit, in which case a transition or clue word helps identify the connection. The relationship may be implicit, in which case you must closely examine the elements found in each sentence and often in the material between the sentences. TYPES OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SENTENCES Addition Clarification Comparison Contrast Example Location or Spatial Order Cause and Effect Summary Time Signal words or transitions help you determine the type of relationship between sentences. When the transition is missing, you may determine the relationship by supplying the correct signal word on your own. ADDITION These transitions tell you that the writer is presenting two or more ideas that continue along the same line of thought. They introduce ideas that add to a thought already mentioned. Here are common addition words: and in addition moreover second third finally equally important Examples: Explicit first of all last of all besides furthermore another likewise also next too
My friend Ellen is so safety-conscious that she had her wooden front door replaced with a steel one. Also, she had iron bars inserted on all her apartment windows. Richard, trying to please his irritated mother, picked up his clothes and faithfully brushed his teeth. He even tried not to squirm in his seat at the dinner table.
They tell us that the second idea is like the first one in some way. Here. In fact. the same cookouts and school support unite people who gather to chat once the children are asleep about the same small and friendly matters. The old neighborhood seemed centered around its activities – the summer barbecues. Here are some common comparison words. In the evenings. friends would gather to talk about nothing in particular. the bake sales held to raise funds for the elementary school. They tell us that the second statement is an expansion of a previous one. likewise in a like manner equally similarly in a similar fashion in the same way Implicit Revised 7-12-04 2 . in the new neighborhood. COMPARISON These transitions signal that the author is pointing out a similarity between two subjects. countries can best solve their problems through communication. I’d be at McDonald’s. In like manner. Margaret is an uncompromising animal rights activist. She vigorously opposed the sacrifice of live animals in the name of scientific research. Here are some common emphasis and clarification words. Clarification word clues: Clearly evidently in fact in other words Obviously certainly to be sure truly Of course as a matter of fact undoubtedly indeed Examples: Explicit Implicit I hate sardines. they are more likely to solve their problems. like as just like just as Examples: Explicit When individuals communicate.RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SENTENCES CLARIFICATION R-6 These words signal that the author is about to clarify or interpret a certain point. if sardines were being served for dinner.
Heather used stacks of books with pieces a paper marking specific pages. above elsewhere within Explicit adjacent to inside without below nearby ahead of far beyond next to over close by opposite On the wall above my daughter’s bed are several pictures of NSYNC members. On the contrary. They tell us where something is in relation to something else. Once he showed up for a family dinner wearing only swimming trunks and a snorkeling mask. Sarah has always been an optimistic person. in contrast instead still in spite of conversely nevertheless even though on the other hand on the contrary although My cousin Dave will do anything on a dare. Here are some common location words.RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SENTENCES CONTRAST R-6 These transitions signal a change in the direction of the writer’s thought. Revised 7-12-04 3 . they stick to a strict schedule of writing. Here are some common contrast words. for example as an illustration once Explicit Implicit for instance to illustrate specifically that is such as including to be specific Professional writers don’t wait for inspiration. but however yet despite Example: Explicit Implicit EXAMPLE These transitions indicate that an author will provide one or more examples to develop and illustrate a given idea. They tell us that the second idea is an example of the first. Here are some common example/illustration words. Janice wrote her research paper using 5x7 note cards. She believes that when she graduates from college she will get the job of her choice. They tell us that a new idea will be different in a significant way from the previous one. LOCATION OR SPATIAL ORDER Location transitions show relationships in space.
However. They tell us what happened or will happen because something else happened. After a twenty-minute analysis of my financial situation. on his breaks at work. . accordingly hence so Examples: Explicit Implicit SUMMARY These transitions signal that the author is about to summarize or come to a conclusion. Mills. all in all in brief ultimately to sum up on the whole to conclude in short My sister became a vegetarian because she doesn’t want to eat anything that had a mother. as a result if . Here are some common time words. in summary in conclusion in other words Examples: Explicit Implicit TIME These transitions indicate a time relationship. . for another hour after dinner.” Andrew studies for an hour before school. He suffered with painful sunburn for days afterward. He’s a dedicated student. “To sum up. the sun still splashed on the front windows with light. my accountant told me. Kevin refused to put on any sun screen at the beach. They tell us when something happened in relation to something else. Here are some common cause and effect words. Here are some common summary words. then thus because therefore consequently since Revised 7-12-04 4 . you’re broke. They tell us that the idea that follows sums up what has gone before it. and again before bed. CAUSE AND EFFECT Cause and effect transitions signal that the author is going to describe results or effects. Mr.RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SENTENCES Implicit R-6 The park was darkened by the school building’s shadow.
However. ____When selecting a campsite. wild birds eat insects. 3. and successful student. select a fairly open spot. f. be sure to choose a site with available water for drinking and bathing.RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SENTENCES First Before Until Frequently Explicit Implicit next now immediately of late as during since formerly while often soon temporarily then after previously at the time R-6 The car slid down the embankment. contrast addition clarification example time summary 1. On the other hand. For example. using the following key. On the lines provided. Samantha watched the house slowly take shape. and certain rodents. 1. you must consider several things. d. The foundation was poured. PRACTICE EXERCISES Exercise 1: Read the following sentences and underline the signal word or words in each sentence. How are the two sentences related? Revised 7-12-04 5 . ____Birds are beneficial to humans in many ways. b. he was unable to excel in even one sport. ____Entrance test scores are one of the most important considerations for acceptance into college. ____The plane was scheduled to depart at 8:05 P. 4. 5. but due to a bomb threat.M. 6. Roberto could not see anything outside. a. The rain poured down in sheets against the window. and the roofers attached trusses. Next. highly motivated. he was sentenced to life in prison. Shortly thereafter. 2. e. ____Ralph was a bright. c. high school grade-point average and accomplishments are also considered. First. level enough to be comfortable. not sloped enough for water drainage. Exercise 2: Circle the correct answer to the following questions. Finally. Her sense of belonging and security grew and took shape too. it was not cleared for take-off until two hours later. consider whether there are trees and a wood supply nearby. ____Although the criminal had a brilliant defense lawyer. curious onlookers had backed up traffic five miles. the framing went up. indicate the type of signal of each underlined word. wild seeds.
She detests anyone who brags about personal accomplishments or possessions. It follows logically from the first. a Exercise 1. ANSWERS Exercise 1 1. c. b. It clarifies the first sentence. c 2. e 5. It classifies what is stated in the first sentence. b. What does the second sentence do in relation to the first? a. It draws a conclusion from the first sentence. John Langan’s Ten Steps to Improving Reading Skills. Reggie often says that appeals from charitable contributions make him depressed over the plight of unfortunate people. Reggie has never given even a dime to charity. It contradicts the first sentence. How is the second sentence related to the first? a. Latoya strongly dislikes boastful people. d. Revised 7-12-04 6 . Hancock’s Reading Skills for College Students. fifth edition. a 2. It analyzes the reasoning of the first. b. d 4. R-6 The two sentences create a contrast. It draws a conclusion from the first. d. It seems to contradict the first. CLAST Reading Skills. a 3. c. c. d. However. 2. d 3.RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SENTENCES a. The second sentence provides an example of what is stated in the first. 3. b This handout was adapted from Ophelia H. The second sentence locates the first in space The first sentence establishes the cause of the second.