Good day everybody! This is our last session!

English Sentences

In this brief course, we have worked with strategies to focus on the reader, clarify purposes, typical phrases and formulas for usual letters and messages, ways to correct common mistakes, and a few issues about grammar and verb tenses, among others.

Today we are going to spend time with the basic elements to construct any text: The SENTENCES.

"I put the words down and push them a bit."
Evelyn Waugh

A sequence of words in English can be simple or complex.

Examples: The last two sentences combine two ideas and they are usually called "complex sentences".

Taking into account the intention, a sentence can be:

Elements of sentences in English :

The main elements of a sentence in English are:
  1. subjects,
  2. verbs, and
  3. complements

  1. In English it is not possible to have a sentence without a subject:
    "Is very intelligent and modest." (MISTAKE)
    "He is very intelligent and modest."
    All sentences need a subject, except imperative sentences.

  2. It is not possible either to leave out the verb:
    "John good and interesting." (MISTAKE)
    "John is good and interesting."

  3. Complements are optional, for example:
    "I like oranges."
    "I like oranges from California."

"Few things in this world are as beautiful
as a simple sentence - or as rare."

Common Sentence Problems

(a) Order of ideas /clauses : Both of the following sentences are gramatically correct and logical, but each makes a different point.

The difference is little, but if the writer's emphasis is that "the new plan is positive", the second sentence is better. If the main point is that "many people are unhappy", then the first example is better.

In our last session we began working with links.
Learn more about them in the following capsule!

Words that introduce CONTRAST

(b) Run-on sentences : A run-on sentence is the combination of two or more sentences without the correct punctuation.
Look : Corrected versions :
In English, sentences are shorter.
Longer ones tend to be separated by punctuation marks.

(c) Readability : A sentence with several "long" or presuntuous words is difficult to read.
How many long words can a person tolerate?

Fog Index

"I live on good soup and not fine language."

(d) Misplaced or Ambiguous Words : Phrases with an ambiguous subject reference.
A sentence can be illogical and confusing if the subject reference is not clear.
Look : Corrected examples :
Last but not least, don't leave today's class without visiting the practice area!

Well, this is the end of the course. I hope you found it useful. Keep on practicing; it is the best way to learn! Send emails to companies, organizations, and the like and learn from their answers too!

Until our next course,

Your electronic teacher


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