Monday, June 13, 2016

Switching Sentence Parts Around to Improve Your Writing Style

One of the keys to good writing is sentence variety and one easy way to achieve greater variety in your writing is to switch sentence parts around.

English sentences, as you may have noticed, are made up of blocks.

Or we could say: English sentences are made up of blocks, as you may have noticed.

Or we could say: As you may have noticed, English sentences are made up of blocks.

Let’s look at this sentence structure:

                Pete went to Japan to learn Judo.

The clause ‘to learn Judo’ explains why Pete went to Japan. We can move it to the front of the sentence:

                To learn Judo, Pete went to Japan.

Now we have a more sophisticated sentence structure! Let’s see a couple more examples:

                I need more eggs to make this cake.
                To make this cake, I need more eggs.

                They offered discounts to attract customers.
                To attract customers, they offered discounts.

We can use the same trick with ‘in order to’:

                They offered discounts in order to attract more customers.
                In order to attract more customers, they offered discounts.

We can also use this technique with certain sentences with FOR:

                Pete went to the Bahamas for a break from his work.
                For a break from his work, Pete went to the Bahamas.

                Jennifer bought some mackerel for her fish pie.
                For her fish pie, Jennifer bought some mackerel.

Finally, we can do this with prepositional phrases:

The birds were singing in the trees.
In the trees, the birds were singing.

There was a fight at the stadium.
At the stadium, there was a fight. 

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