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Online Quiz (Worksheet A B C D)

Questions Per Quiz = 2 4 6 8 10

Grade 7 English
2.22 Avoid a Succession of Loose Sentences

A loose sentence is a type of sentence in which the main idea (independent clause) comes first, followed by dependent grammatical units such as phrases and clauses. If a period were placed at the end of the work containing many loose sentences, the work often seems informal, relaxed, and conversational.1

The meaning of a loose sentence can be easily understood in the very beginning of the sentence, unlike a periodic sentence. This rule refers especially to loose sentences of a particular type: those consisting of two co-ordinate clauses, the second introduced by a conjunction or relative. Although single sentences of this type may be unexceptionable, a series soon becomes monotonous and tedious.

An unskillful writer will sometimes construct a whole paragraph of sentences of this kind, using as connectives and, but, and less frequently, who, which, when, where, and while, these last in non-restrictive senses.

The third concert of the subscription series was given last evening, and
a large audience was in attendance. Mr. Edward Appleton was the soloist,
and the Boston Symphony Orchestra furnished the instrumental music.
The former showed himself to be an artist of the first rank, while the latter
proved itself fully deserving of its high reputation. The interest aroused by
the series has been very gratifying to the Committee, and it is planned to
give a similar series annually hereafter. The fourth concert will be given on
Tuesday, May 10, when an equally attractive program will be resented.

Apart from its triteness and emptiness, the paragraph above is bad because of the structure of its sentences, with their mechanical symmetry and sing-song flow. A strong paragraph is more than just a group of loose sentences about a particular topic. The sentences need to be clearly connected so that readers can follow along and can understand how one detail leads to the next.

If the writer finds that he has written a series of sentences of the type described, he should rewrite enough of them to remove the monotony, replacing them by simple sentences, by sentences of two clauses joined by a semicolon, by periodic sentences (where the point of the sentence comes at the end rather than the beginning) of two clauses, by sentences, loose or periodic, of three clauses-whichever best represent the real relations of the thought.


Directions: Rewrite the example paragraph above so that it is more interesting and has sentences of varying lengths and types.

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