You are on page 1of 2

WRITING EFFECTIVE SENTENCES

COMBINING SENTENCES
Short sentences can be effective, but too many of them make writing sound
choppy. For example, notice how the many short sentences in the following
paragraph make it boring to read.
A geyser is a spring. A geyser shoots hot water into the air with great force.
Some geysers erupt continually. Some geysers remain inactive for long periods. The
water seeps into the earth surface through cracks. The water expands into steam
when it reaches extremely hot rocks.
Sentence combining is a way to improve choppy writing. Below you can
see how the paragraph about geysers can be improved by combining the shorter
sentences into longer, smoother sentences.
Notice that even though the sentences are longer, the revised paragraph is
shorter and more precise. This is because sentence combining has helped to
eliminate repeated words and ideas.
A geyser is a spring that shots hot water into the air with great force. Some
geysers erupt continually, while some remain inactive for long periods. The water
seeps into the earth surface through cracks and expands into steam when it
reaches extremely hot rocks.
INSERTING WORDS
You can combine short sentences by taking a key word from one sentence
and inserting it into another sentence. When you do this you may have to delete
one or more words. You may also have to change the form of the word you insert.

Using the Same Form


ORIGINAL

Andrew Lloyd- Webber composed the music for


several Broadway musicals. The musicals were
popular.

COMBINED

Andrew Lloyd-Webber composed the music for


several popular Broadway musicals.

Changing the Form


ORIGINAL

Lloyd-Webber is best known for his melodic scores.


The scores flow.

COMBINED

Lloyd-Webber is best known for his flowing melodic


scores.

Exercise 1. Combine each set of sentences into one sentence by inserting the
italicized word/s from the second sentence into the first sentence. The directions in
parentheses will tell you how to change the form of a word if it is necessary to do
so.

1. Plants have always been valued for their properties. These properties are
medicinal.
2. Digitalis, a medicine for heart failure, is extracted from the fox glove plant.
Digitalis is an effective medicine.
3. The recipes of many old-fashioned herbal remedies have been lost. The loss of
these recipes is unfortunate. (Add ly)
4. Some herbal remedies have been passed down through many generations of
family. The families trust these remedies. (Add ed)
5. Plants are still used to make products such as shampoos and hair dyes. These
products are beauty products.
6. The ancient Egyptians used dill in healing. This healing was herbal.
7. Research shows that dill helps relax the muscles of the digestive tract. These
muscles are the smooth muscles.
8. Another herb, echinacea, was adapted by plain settlers as a remedy for stings
and snakebites. This was a folk remedy.
9. Many recent European studies show that Echinacea has remarkable properties.
These properties can heal. (Add ing)
10. Did you know that cinnamon was used by the Ancient Chinese as a treatment
for digestive problems? The cinnamon was a powder. (Add ed)