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A verb may be followed by an object that completes the verb's meaning. Two kinds of objects follow verbs: direct objects and indirect objects. To determine if a verb has a direct object, isolate the verb and make it into a question by placing "whom?" or "what?" after it. The answer, if there is one, is the direct object: Direct Object The advertising executive drove a flashy red Porsche. Direct Object Her secret admirer gave her a bouquet of flowers. The second sentence above also contains an indirect object. An indirect object (which, like a direct object, is always a noun or pronoun) is, in a sense, the recipient of the direct object. To determine if a verb has an indirect object, isolate the verb and ask to whom?, to what?, for whom?, or for what? after it. The answer is the indirect object. Not all verbs are followed by objects. Consider the verbs in the following sentences: The guest speaker rose from her chair to protest. After work, Randy usually jogs around the canal.
Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
Verbs that take objects are known as transitive verbs. Verbs not followed by objects are called intransitive verbs. Some verbs can be either transitive verbs or intransitive verbs, depending on the context: Direct Object I hope the Senators win the next game. No Direct Object Did we win?
In addition to the transitive verb and the intransitive verb, there is a third kind of verb called a linking verb. The word (or phrase) which follows a linking verb is called not an object, but a subject complement. The most common linking verb is "be." Other linking verbs are "become," "seem," "appear," "feel," "grow," "look," "smell," "taste," and "sound," among others. Note that some of these are sometimes linking verbs, sometimes transitive verbs, or sometimes intransitive verbs, depending on how you use them: Linking verb with subject complement He was a radiologist before he became a full-time yoga instructor. Linking verb with subject complement Your homemade chili smells delicious. Transitive verb with direct object I can't smell anything with this terrible cold. Intransitive verb with no object The interior of the beautiful new Buick smells strongly of fish. Note that a subject complement can be either a noun ("radiologist", "instructor") or an adjective ("delicious").
(by David Megginson) An object complement is similar to a subject complement, except that (obviously) it modifies an object rather than a subject. Consider this example of a subject complement: The driver seems tired. In this case, as explained above, the adjective "tired" modifies the noun "driver," which is the subject of the sentence. Sometimes, however, the noun will be the object, as in the following example: I consider the driver tired. In this case, the noun "driver" is the direct object of the verb "consider," but the adjective "tired" is still acting as its complement.
the group "bay the across" is not a phrase. Giselle planted twenty tulip bulbs. an object. The judge ruled her out of order. or anadverb. a verb. You use phrase to add information to a sentence and can perform the functions of a subject. you could reconstruct the last part of the sentence into a sentence of its own using a subject complement: "it is black. Function of Phrases A phrase may function as a verb. a subject or object complement. and any adverb. In both cases.In general. noun. verbs which have to do with perceiving. In every case. Small children often insist that they can do it by themselves.a group of grammatically-linked words with a subject and predicate is called a clause. an adjective. The highlighted words in each of the following sentences make up a phrase: She bought some spinach when she went to the corner store. an adverb. squirrels ate the bulbs and none bloomed. or an adjective. Similarly." "she is out of order." The Phrase A phrase is a group of two or more grammatically linked words without a subjectand predicate -. unfortunately. or changing something can cause their direct objects to take an object complement: Paint it black. judging. The group "teacher both students and" is not a phrase because the words have no grammatical relationship to one another." "the Prime Minister is sleeping. Lightning flashed brightly in the night sky. . I saw the Prime Minister sleeping. its direct and/or indirect objects. They heard high pitched cries in the middle of the night. The group "both teachers and students" and the group "across the bay" are both phrases. Verb Phrases A verb phrase consists of a verb. the words need to be rearranged in order to create phrases. In early October.
However. object complement I consider Loki my favorite cat. After she had learned to drive. these also can form the nucleus of a noun phrase: Ice fishing is a popular winter pass-time. . We will meet at the library at 3:30 p. object of a verb To read quickly and accurately is Eugene's goal. Like a noun. or as the object of a preposition.in particular. subject complement Frankenstein is the name of the scientist not the monster. he decided to make something else. and other nouns in thepossessive case. Alice felt more independent. He did not have all the ingredients the recipe called for.m. adjective clauses. Noun Phrases using Verbals (by David Megginson) Since some verbals -. they can also take direct objects and can be modified by adverbs. or adverb clauses which happen to modify it. and its objects: Running a marathon in the Summer is thirsty work. as the object of a verb or verbal. A gerund phrase or infinitive phrase. the gerund and the infinitive -. The predicate of aclause or sentence is always a verb phrase: Corinne is trying to decide whether she wants to go to medical school or to go to law school. including adjectives. a noun phrase can act as a subject. object of a preposition The arctic explorers were caught unawares by the spring breakup. adjective phrases. its modifiers (both adjectives and adverbs). as a subject or object complement. therefore.adverb phrases. since verbals are formed from verbs. as in the following examples: subject Small children often insist that they can do it by themselves. is a noun phrase consisting of a verbal.can act as nouns. then. Noun Phrases A noun phrase consists of a pronoun or noun with any associated modifiers.
. Giselle planted twenty tulip bulbs." Lightning flashed brightly in the night sky. the prepositional phrase "to the corner store" acts as an adverb modifying the verb "went. Here the participle phrase "dashing across the quadrangle" acts as an adjective describing the proper noun "Peter." In early October. In this sentence. In this sentence. squirrels ate the bulbs and none bloomed. the participle phrase "broken in the scuffle" modifies the noun phrase "the records. In this sentence. the prepositional phrase "of a borrowed car" acts as an adjective modifying the noun "trunk. In this sentence. She bought some spinach when she went to the corner store.I am planning to buy a house next month. Adjective Phrases An adjective phrase is any phrase which modifies a noun or pronoun. the prepositional phrase "of my neighbour's constant piano practising" acts as an adjective modifying the noun "sound. You often construct adjective phrases using participles or prepositions together with their objects: I was driven mad by the sound of my neighbour's constant piano practising. functioning as an adverb." Adverb Phrases A prepositional phrase can also be an adverb phrase." My father-in-law locked his keys in the trunk of a borrowed car." We saw Peter dashing across the quadrangle." We picked up the records broken in the scuffle. as in the following sentences. unfortunately. Similarly in this sentence. the prepositional phrase "in the night sky" functions as a adverb modifying the verb "flashed.
but it has no predicate attached to it: the adjective phrase "eating grass" show which cows the writer is referring to. We will meet at the library at 3:30 P.In this sentence." The dogs were capering about the clown's feet. but there is nothing here to show why the writer is mentioning cows in the first place." Building Clauses A clause is a collection of grammatically-related words including a predicate and asubject (though sometimes is the subject is implied). the prepositional phrase "in early October" acts as an adverb modifying the entire sentence." phrase cows eating grass What about "cows eating grass"? This noun phrase could be a subject. the prepositional phrase "at 3:30 P. Recognizing Clauses Consider these examples: clause cows eat grass This example is a clause. This chapter will help you to recognise and (more importantly) to use different types of clauses in your own writing.M. In this sentence. the prepositional phrase "about the clown's feet" acts as an adverb modifying the verb phrase "were capering.M. Clauses are the building blocks of sentences: every sentence consists of one or more clauses. . A collection of grammatically-related words without a subject or without a predicate is called a phrase. because it contains the subject "cows" and the predicate"eat grass." acts as an adverb modifying the verb phrase "will meet. In this sentence.
and Adverbs If a clause can stand alone as a sentence. adverb clause The committee will meet when the Prime Minister is in Ottawa. Using Clauses as Nouns. Note how the clause can replace the adverb "tomorrow" in the following examples: adverb The committee will meet tomorrow." just like an adverb. they aredependent clauses or subordinate clauses. Adjectives. since the conjunction"because" suggests that the clause is providing an explanation for something else. The subject "cows eating grass" and the predicate "are visible from the highway" make up a complete thought. except in quotations. clause Run! This single-word command is also a clause. With a direct command. the clause really reads "[You] run!". since it is obviously the person or people you are talking to: in other words. it is not necessary to include the subject. even though it does seem to have a subject. however. . it is called a dependent adverb clause (or simply an adverb clause. Consider the same clause with thesubordinating conjunction "because" added to the beginning: Dependent when the Prime Minister is in Ottawa In this case. the clause could not be a sentence by itself.clause cows eating grass are visible from the highway This is a complete clause again. since adverb clauses are always dependent clauses). Since this dependent clause answers the question "when. as in the following example: Independent the Prime Minister is in Ottawa Some clauses. You should not usually use direct commands in your essays. it is an independent clause. cannot stand alone as sentences: in this case.
" is the direct object. This noun clause is the subject of the verb "will have to pay. becomes a noun clause when used as part of a larger unit -. In fact. The question "Where are they going?." Here are some more examples of noun clauses: about what you bought at the mall This noun clause is the object of the preposition "about. but also for nouns and foradjectives.Dependent clauses can stand not only for adverbs." the clause is the subject of the verb "is. the noun "Latin" acts as the direct object of the verb "know. the entire clause "that Latin . noun clause I know that Latin is no longer spoken as a native language." and answers the question "who will have to pay?" . answering the questions "who(m)?" or "what?". Noun Clauses A noun clause is an entire clause which takes the place of a noun in another clause or phrase.. many noun clauses are indirect questions: noun Their destination is unknown. noun clause Where they are going is unknown. In the first example.like the noun "destination." with a slight change in word order." In the second example." and answers the question "about what?" Whoever broke the vase will have to pay for it. Consider the following examples: noun I know Latin. Like a noun. a noun clause acts as the subject or object of a verbor the object of a preposition..
you may leave out the relative pronoun when it is not the subject of the adjective clause." and answers the question "whatdo the fans hope?" Adjective Clauses An adjective clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adjective in another clause or phrase. academic writing: informal The books people read were mainly religious." Note that an adjective clause usually comes after what it modifies." In informal writing or speech. Here are some more examples of adjective clauses: the meat which they ate was tainted . an adjective clause modifies a noun orpronoun." or "which. formal The books that people read were mainly religious. Like an adjective. but you should usually include the relative pronoun in formal. an adjective clause begins with the relative pronouns "who(m)." "that. the dependent clause "which I bought yesterday" in the second example modifies the noun "coat.The Toronto fans hope that the Blue Jays will win again. answering questions like "which?" or "what kind of?" Consider the following examples: Adjective the red coat Adjective clause the coat which I bought yesterday Like the word "red" in the first example. This noun clause is the object of the verb "hope. while an adjective usually comesbefore. informal Some firefighters never meet the people they save. In formal writing. formal Some firefighters never meet the people whom they save.
" will introduce an adverb clause. Usually. "with what goal/result?". Adverb Clauses An adverb clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adverb in another clause or phrase. they are searching for the one who borrowed the book The clause modifies the pronoun "one" and answers the question "which one?"." "since. a subordinating conjunction like "because. about the movie which made him cry This clause modifies the noun "movie" and answers the question "which movie?"." and "so that." "where(ever). "where?". adverb clause The premier gave a speech where the workers were striking. An adverb clause answers questions such as "when?". "why?". Note that a dependent adverb clause can never stand alone as a complete sentence: independent clause they left the locker room dependent adverb clause after they left the locker room .This clause modifies the noun "meat" and answers the question "which meat?". and "under what conditions?". Note how an adverb clause can replace an adverb in the following example: adverb The premier gave a speech here." "when(ever)." "after. Did I tell you about the author whom I met? The clause modifies the noun "author" and answers the question "which author?".
the reader will ask what happened "after they left the locker room". The adverb clause answers the question "when?". and condition: cause Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle because the uncle had murdered Hamlet's father. The adverb clause answers the question "why?". effect Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle so that his father's murder would be avenged. condition If the British co-operate. What is a sentence? A sentence is a group of words that are used together to express or convey acomplete thought. the Europeans may achieve monetary union. time After Hamlet's uncle Claudius married Hamlet's mother. The adverb clause answers the question "where?". Hamlet wanted to kill him. Here are some more examples of adverb clauses expressing the relationships of cause.The first example can easily stand alone as a sentence. effect. It may include any of the eight parts of speech. place Where the whole Danish court was assembled. Hamlet ordered a play in an attempt to prove his uncle's guilt. space. however. time. theparts of speech that are used must be combined . The adverb clause answers the question "with what goal/result?". The adverb clause answers the question "under what conditions?". but the second cannot -.an adverb clause can often appear either before or after the main part of the sentence. Note the change in word order -.
It is the subject of the discourse and names the person or thing aboutwhich the author of the sentence is writing. sentences may also contain clausesand/or phrases. The two essential elements of a sentence that are used to express a complete thought are thesubject and the predicate. Predicate The predicate is a word or a group of words that state something about thesubject andincludes everything in the sentence that is not included in the complete subject. "Command chaplian" is the complete subject in the second example. It does not contain a verb and its subject is not complete in itself.accurately to form a correctsentence.A phrase cannot standalone. NOTE: Besides the subject and predicate. For example: o o Sailors travel The Command chaplain supervises the program for the commanding officer. A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and predicate andis used as a part of the sentence. Subordinate clauses do not expressa complete thought and must always be used in conjunctionwith a main clause. This means that the complete predicate inculdes the simplepredicate with its modifiers and the object with its modifiers. The subject is a word or a group of words about which something is beingsaid. For example: o o Sailors travel The Command chaplain supervises the program for the commanding officer. . The subect maybe either a single word(simple subject) or several words (complete subject). A phrase is a group of words thatis used to a single partof speech. The main clause expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence. "Sailor is the simple subject in the first and "chaplain" is the simple subject in the second example.
and their mom were laughing. we can create very long. but most of our sentences have more than one. We also give commands with a single word. her sister.] Let's look at variety.] For the purposes of this explanation. making complexity out of the simple elements of the sentence. Multiple subjects: The baby and her mom were laughing. “Supervises the program for thecommanding officer” is the complete predicate in the second example. [(S + S + S) + V] Multiple verbs: . We answer questions with a single word. We all are familiar with these basic sentences since we use them so often in speech and writing. [S + V + O] From these simple beginnings. and object phrase [O]. Obviously a sentence is made up of words. But most nonconversational uses of language demand more than single word sentences. complex. and this is when structure is important. [Single word sentences are usually used in conversation. Here are some examples. verb [V]. [S + V] The baby is walking.“Travel” is the simple predicate in the first example and "supervises" in the simple predicate in the second example. Once again. and often confusing sentences. The root of many problems with grammar and punctuation is the failure to identify just what it is that makes up a sentence. [(S + S) + V] The baby. etc. We can have a simple sentence with only a single word. walks down the hall. structure is everything. The baby laughs. but they are of words of a particular kind and in a particular order. [S + V] The baby walks down the hall. a basic sentence contains either a subject [S] and a verb [V] or a subject [S]. But we should always keep in mind that the basic sentence expresses this information: someone does something [The baby laughs. is walking.
/ S + Adj. giggling. [(Adj. [S + (V + V)] The baby was laughing. The hard to please child and the proud but stern mother were not laughing. [(Adj. Adding modifiers to the subject [We call these modifiers adjectives. in this case a prepositional phrase after the verbs.] Multiple objects: The baby crawled down the hall and into the kitchen.]: ./ S + Adj. and crawling down the hall.The baby was laughing and giggling. [S + V + (O + O)] Multiple subjects and verbs: The girl and the boy walked and laughed through the store./ S) + V] We can use phrases that act like adjectives./ S) + V] Adding modifiers to the verb [We call these modifiers adverbs. [S + (V + V + V) + O] [Notice that I added an object phrase.]: The little baby and proud mother were laughing. [(S + S) + (V + V) + O] Let's look at even more variety.
] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What is not a sentence? A Variety of Sentence Fragments The sentence fragment is only a part of a sentence. "with the authority of a learned man. verb. John is a friend of mine.The child and her mother rarely argued with each other. depending on the main clause (or sentence) for it to be grammatically correct. therefore. My very best friend in the whole world. [S + V / Adv. however. Here is the correction.} Note: The prepositional phrase. These ways are just beginnings based upon combining the simplest elements of a sentence: subject. Here is another kind of sentence fragment. it is a dependent clause. [Note: I'll use italics for fragments. [(S + Adj." modifies the verb "spoke. The sentence fragment is usually an after thought. Here is a typical example of a sentence fragment. object phrase. my very best friend in the whole world. John is a friend of mine. .] To avoid the fragment. something tagged on to a sentence. The spoke with the authority of a learned man. usually one that lacks a subject or a verb. usually all that is needed is a comma. / S) + Adv. / V + O] We can also use phrases that act like adverbs. [Note: There are many more ways to add variety to sentences. acts like an adverb." It. This one has a complete subject and verb.
This chapter helps you learn to recognise different types of sentences and to use them effectively in your own writing. It was the Elizabethan age. John never lets me down. Who is really my very best friend in the whole world.My best friend is John. that your essay would receive a passing grade. Einstein said something. John never lets me down. It was a tragedy. with a comma. your university or college instructors will . however. (From ACC's Writers' Web Lessons: http://webs. My best friend in all of the world. personal letters. Sometimes fragments appear before a sentence that it could connect to. again. He wrote plays. My best friend in all of the world. Hamlet died. who is really my very best friend in the whole world.org/jnapora/WritersWeb/lessons. Here is the corrected version. Here is an example. Although ordinary conversation. and even some types of professional writing (such as newspaper stories) consist almost entirely of simple sentences. One play was Hamlet.ashlandctc. The court died too. My best friend is John. Correct this fragment. It is not likely. You could write an entire essay using only simple sentences like these: William Shakespeare was a writer. The Inuit are a people.htm) Some English sentences are very basic: Shakespeare was a writer.
in a sense. will jolt the reader. while a compound sentence. used sparingly. A simple sentence can be as short as one word: Run! Usually.expect you to be able to use all types of sentences in your formal academic writing. which contains only one clause. a complex sentence. Just as a good driver uses different gears. the sentence has a subject as well as a predicate and both the subject and the predicate may have modifiers. your sentences will become much more interesting and your ideas. This complex sentence develops a major. an exclamatory sentence. and an imperative sentence will make it clear that you want the reader to act right away. Writers who use only simple sentences are like a truck drivers who do not know how to shift out of first gear: they would be able to drive a load from Montréal to Calgary (eventually). Remember that every clause is. central idea and provides structured background information: Since it involves the death not only of the title character but of the entire royal court. a good writer uses different types of sentences in different situations: a long complex sentence will show what information depends on what other information. The ice on the river melts quickly under the warm March sun. a loose sentence will tell the reader in advance how to interpret your information. Hamlet is the most extreme of the tragedies written by the Elizabethan playwrite William Shakespeare. If you use phrases and clauses carefully. an interrogative sentence will force the reader to think about what you are writing. much clearer. a declarative sentence will avoid any special emotional impact. The ice melts quickly. All of the following are simple sentences. The Simple Sentence The most basic type of sentence is the simple sentence. a compound sentence will emphasise balance and parallelism. Lying exposed without its blanket of snow. however. a short simple sentence will grab a reader's attention. a miniature sentence. A simple sentences contains only a single clause. because each contains only one clause: Melt! Ice melts. but they would have a great deal of trouble getting there. a periodic sentence will leave the reader in suspense until the very end. the ice on the river melts quickly under the warm March sun. . or a compound-complex sentence contains at least two clauses.
Of course. A compound sentence is most effective when you use it to create a sense of balance or contrast between two (or more) equally-important pieces of information: Montéal has better clubs.. The most natural sentence structure is the simple sentence: it is the first kind which children learn to speak. it has many poor people. this is an extreme example." "but. In this case. Special Cases of Compound Sentences There are two special types of compound sentences which you might want to note. When you do use simple sentences. First. a simple sentence can be quite long -. or one simple sentence and one complex sentence. a co-ordinating conjunction sometimes joins two complex sentences.it is a mistake to think that you can tell a simple sentence from a compound sentence or a complex sentence simply by its length. Compound sentences are very natural for English speakers -. but still it has many poor people. but if you over-use compound sentences in written work. simple sentences can be very effective for grabbing a reader's attention or for summing up an argument. and it ate part of my carrot at lunch. In written work. and he showed it to the class. your writing might seem immature. Compound Canada is a rich country. rather than joining two simple sentences together." and "or": Simple Canada is a rich country. and I got to pet it. The Compound Sentence A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses (or simple sentences) joined by coordinating conjunctions like "and. Simple Still.small children learn to use them early on to connect their ideas and to avoid pausing (and allowing an adult to interrupt): Today at school Mr..As you can see. but Toronto has better cinemas. the sentence is called a compound-complex sentence: compound-complex . and Kate held it. you should add transitional phrases to connect them to the surrounding sentences. Moore brought in his pet rabbit. and we coloured pictures of it. but you have to use them with care: too many simple sentences can make your writing seem childish. and . and it remains by far the most common sentence in the spoken language of people of all ages.
when sober. but it is not required: The sun rises in the east. When you write the subordinating conjunction "although" at the beginning of the first clause. however. Consider the following examples: Simple My friend invited me to a party. however. a conjunctive adverb like "however" or "consequently" will appear near the beginning of the second part. The reader will have trouble knowing which piece of information is most important to you. you make it clear that the fact that your friend invited you is less important than. . "Although my friend invited me to a party. or subordinate. Compound My friend invited me to a party. he could be a formidable foe in the House of Commons. however. the sentence has changed quite a bit: the first clause. In the first example. Macdonald had a serious drinking problem. I do not want to go. and the reader cannot tell which is most important. but I do not want to go. a complex sentence contains clauses which are not equal. or even My friend invited me to a party.they are entirely equal. A complex sentence is very different from a simple sentence or a compound sentence because it makes clear which ideas are most important. there are two separate simple sentences: "My friend invited me to a party" and "I do not want to go. or a dependent clause. When you write My friend invited me to a party. The second special case involves punctuation. Usually." has become incomplete. I do not want to go. The Complex Sentence A complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one dependent clause." but both parts could still stand as independent sentences -. however. Complex Although my friend invited me to a party. It is possible to join two originally separate sentences into a compound sentence using a semicolon instead of a co-ordinating conjunction: Sir John A. but the courier left before I could check the contents. it sets in the west. but I do not want to go. to the fact that you do not want to go. Unlike a compound sentence." The second example joins them together into a single sentence with the co-ordinating conjunction "but. In the third example. I do not want to go.The package arrived in the morning.
the low crime rate. At the beginning of this sentence. and wonderful winters? The reader has to read all of this information without knowing what the conclusion will be. and the wonderful winters. The Periodic Sentence If your main point is at the end of a long sentence. they will be more likely to understand the sentence on a first reading. While a periodic sentence can be useful for making an important point or for a special dramatic effect. and the wonderful winters. the low crime rate.Not all sentences make a single point -. When the readers read about the free health care. Still. especially. The Loose Sentence If you put your main point at the beginning of a long sentence. there is a single argument. you are writing a periodic sentence: periodic Considering the free health care. the comprehensive social programs. When you are writing your sentences. low crime rate. considering the free health care.compound sentences. it is a powerful rhetorical tool. The periodic sentence has become much rarer in formal English writing over the past hundred years. the cheap tuition fees. do not bury your main point in the middle. may present several equallyimportant pieces of information -. Finally. comprehensive social programs. the cheap tuition fees. it is also much more difficult to read. and it has never been common in informal spoken English (outside of bad political speeches). The main point of this sentence is that the writer prefers to live in Canada. and the writer makes the point at the very beginning: everything which follows is simply extra information. the low crime rate. the comprehensive social programs. and as a result. The main point of this sentence is that the writer prefers to live in Canada. and the wonderful winters. they will read your evidence first with open minds. you are writing a loose sentence: loose I am willing to pay slightly higher taxes for the privilege of living in Canada . question. If you use a . and often requires readers to go back and reread the sentence once they understand the main point. it is important to remember that you have to structure a loose sentence as carefully as you would structure a periodic sentence: it is very easy to lose control of a loose sentence so that by the end the reader has forgotten what your main point was. statement. I am willing to pay slightly higher taxes for the privilege of living in Canada. use one of the positions of emphasis at the beginning or end of the sentence. instead. cheap tuition fees. or command which you wish to get across. the reader does not know what point the writer is going to make: what about the free health care. when you write a sentence. who almost always talk in loose sentences: even the most sophisticated English writers tend to use loose sentences much more often than periodic sentences. Loose sentences are the most natural for English speakers. the comprehensive social programs.but most of the time. they will already know that these are reasons for living in Canada. An occasional periodic sentence is not only dramatic but persuasive: even if the readers do not agree with your conclusion. the cheap tuition fees.
it is important to remember that periodic sentences are like exclamatory sentences: used once or twice in a piece of writing. the readers will probably close their minds before considering any of your evidence. . used any more than that.loose sentence with hostile readers. Finally. they can make you sound dull and pompous. they can be very effective.