Varying Sentences

Sentence Types

Stop!

This is a minor sentence because it only has one word.

Bob held up a sign.

This is a simple sentence because it only has one clause (idea).

Bob held up a sign and it said ‘stop’.

This is a compound sentence because it is two simple sentences joined by ‘and’ or ‘but’.

Despite having his hands full, Bob held up a sign that said ‘stop’.

This is a complex sentence. Complex sentences have a main clause.

Sentencesforimpact

We use them to emphasise other sentence types:

Trouble. As Bob ran out of the shop, he could see the young hooligans crossing the road. They were coming towards him. He screamed, but the teenagers still did not stop. Quickly, Bob turned. Looking over his shoulder, he could still see the hoodies heading his way. Bang: the gun went off.

Look at how the paragraph contains a range of sentence types. See if you can identify the different sentence types in the paragraph. You want to ensure you vary your sentences throughout the paragraph.

Trouble (Minor). As Bob ran out of the shop, he could see the young hooligans crossing the road (Complex). They were coming towards him (Simple). He screamed, but the teenagers still did not stop (Compound). Quickly, Bob turned (Complex). Looking over his shoulder, he could still see the hoodies heading his way (Complex). Bang: the gun went off (Complex).

Varyingsentencestarters

The easiest way to remember how to vary your sentence openings is ISPACE:

Ing

Change your verb to have an ‘ing’ suffix. An example is: ‘Enjoying the sun, the girl sunbathed.’

Simile

Start your sentence with a simile. Remember that this is when you compare one thing to another. Mostly similes contain ‘like’ or ‘as’. An example is ‘As cool as a cucumber, the boy completed his exam’.

Preposition

Prepositions tell you more about where an object might be or the relationship between one object and another. An example is ‘On top of the cupboard lay the magic key.’ Other prepositions include: ‘behind’, ‘underneath’, ‘before’ and ‘after’.

Adverb

Adverbs modify a verb. They normally end in ‘ly’. An example is ‘Happily, the old lady danced.’

Conjunction or Connective

There are many different types of connectives.

Varying Sentences, figure 1

You can begin your sentences with many of these connectives. An example is: ‘Consequently, she forgot to buy milk.’

-__Ed__

You can change your verb to an ‘ed’ suffix to begin a sentence. An example is: ‘Stopped by the police, the man was arrested.’

Here is an example ispace paragraph:

Underneath the leaves lay a door (Preposition). Intrigued, the girl opened it (-__ed__) . As slowly as a mouse, she crept inside (Simile). Then, the door banged shut. Quickly hiding, she trembled (adverb). Creeping towards the exit, she tried to escape (ing).

Varyingendings

Remember that you need to remember to use different types of sentences as well.

Question marks end a question. Clues that the sentence is a question include ‘how,’ ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘who’. A ‘?’ is required at the end.

E.g. ‘How are you feeling today?’

Exclamation marks end an emotive statement. They usually show expression of thought. A ‘!’ is required at the end.

E.g. ‘Come here, now!’ shouted Mum.

What makes an effective minor sentence?
What is a compound sentence?
What does ispace stand for?