A good and correct sentence verbalizes the idea and motive of the sentence efficiently and clearly. This helps in establishing constructive communication through writing. The structure and content of a sentence determine if it’s good – however, a complex sentence doesn’t necessarily imply if it’s well written. A short well-written sentence can imply just as much as a long sentence.
Every writer has a different way of framing their sentences. Using different types of sentences from time to time is a key way in which writers maintain and engage the interest of their readers. A good writer always works towards improving their writing skills which finally results in better sentence writing.
English grammar might often seem strange. There are numerous rules for structuring sentences and almost all of those rules have as many exceptions. On a basic level, almost all English sentences follow a similar structure. Here in this article, we have listed seven tips for making the construction of English sentences easier.
- Use the words in the correct order
Using the words of the sentence in the correct order helps in implying the meaning of the sentence in the correct manner. Framing the words incorrectly will fail to hold the correct meaning that one is trying to imply by the use of the sentence.
The most common order which is used when framing parts of a sentence is – subject, verb and object (when present). However, parts of speech aren’t necessarily always just a word. A subject, verb or object is often made of several words. So it is necessary to make sure one looks at the structure of a whole sentence rather than only individual words.
Example: Naina picked the bag.
In this sentence, ‘Naina’ is the subject, ‘picked’ is the verb and ‘the bag’ is the object.
- Keep it simple
There is a misconception among many that long sentences help in enlightening a person more. However, it is not true. Long or overly complex sentences don’t necessarily mean sophisticated sentence writing.
Sometimes a simple and short sentence can be a powerful pack of punch. It is necessary to learn how to adjust syntax or eliminate fluff for fitting your writing style and target readers. An easily digestible sentence serves better communication.
- Use concrete rhetoric
Using the correct words will only be possible when you understand the impact or influence the sentence is trying to make. If one is trying to inspire their audience for a change or movement then they might want to avoid the use of phrases like ‘sort of’ or ‘kind of’.
Using direct language implying the purpose of the sentence will help in delivering a strong image, create an emotional appeal and convey significance. Whatever the sentence is trying to imply should be the reader’s priority.
- When there are two types of objects
As mentioned earlier in the article, a sentence usually as three parts, subject, verb and object. Sometimes in a sentence, there are two types of objects. If that’s the scenario, we can split them into two types.
- Direct – the object which has a direct connection to the subject.
Example: I bought a toy car for my brother.
In this sentence, ‘toy car’ is the direct object and ‘brother’ is the indirect object. A preposition is added before the indirect object when using it at the end of the sentence.
- Indirect – the object is not directly connected to the subject.
Example: I bought my brother a toy car.
In the sentence, the direct, as well as the indirect, are in a different order. When the direct object is in the last, we don’t use a preposition before it.
- Employ parallelism
Sentences are easier to understand and more pleasant to read when there is an agreement in its grammatical structure. This principle is known as parallelism, parallel construction or parallel sentences.
Parallelism is the use of a simple structure with related words, phrases or clauses. The use of parallelism creates a sense of balance and rhythm within a sentence. As audiences, we often correct faulty use of parallelism – lack of a parallel structure – intuitively as an unbalanced sentence sounds poorly constructed and awkward.
Example: She likes painting, listening to music and to read.
In this sentence, parallelism is lacking. Now,
She likes painting, listening to music and reading.
She likes to paint, listen to music and read.
In these sentences, parallelism has been used correctly.
- Compound sentences have the same structure but do it twice
A compound sentence is made of two sections or clauses. In these sentences, conjunction is used for joining two halves of the sentence, each of which has the same structure. In addition, one can also join independent sections with the use of a semicolon or with a conjunction adverb and a comma.
Example: This car is too expensive and the car is too small.
In this sentence, there are two independent clauses which have been joined by the use of the conjunction ‘and’. Both the sentences have followed a similar structure – subject, verb, object + subject, verb, object.
- Learn about the exceptions of the rules
There are some structures of sentences that have a different manner of working. Once comfortable with the declarative rules of sentences one must take time to explore other types of sentence structure as those will give more variety to the language. These rules are fun and challenging to learn.
Now that we have learned about the tips for construction of English sentences, here are a few thingsto incorporate in your writing practise which will help you in constructing of sentences.
- Mind your grammar – A well-built sentence does not suffer from things like typos, passive voice or run-on sentences. Be mindful of identifying any incomplete sentences that may be present in your writing. Use of proper grammar gives the writing a polished feel.
- Punctuate properly – The right punctuations have the ability to make or break the rhythm of a sentence. Make sure that there is proper implementation of periods, hyphens, commas, semi-colons or any other punctuative tools.
- Practice writing – Improving only comes with practice. Practice writing exercises which will focus on the sentence structure and how you phrase the ideas. The more time you spend practising grammar, the better you’ll get at it.