Tutoring English, you constantly need ideas on how to increase sentence variety. The English tutor discusses another possible variation….
In past English posts, I’ve referred to subordinating conjunctions, the complex sentence, and various other points of interest for those wanting to please the markers of their papers. Trying to satisfy an English teacher or professor might be an ongoing challenge.
Consider the following sentence:
In spite of the rain, they played the game.
It’s a complex sentence, of course, with a nice subordinate lead-in. In spite of prepares the reader for the surprise – that the game was played in the rain. The premise of the rain opposes the playing of the game; ironically, both happened anyway.
Could we pose those two apparently conflicting premises as actually supporting each other? Then, the surprise would be a different kind; the reader would realize that actually, the rain wasn’t seen as being an opposing factor:
With the rain falling, they played the game.
The word with suggests being together. In consequence, the feeling of the sentence is different. Perhaps the rain and the game were meant to proceed side-by-side.
Consider another example:
Although the children were playing loudly, the mother worked on her essay for night school.
As you’d probably expect, the children’s loud playing seems to conflict against the mother’s pursuit of her homework. What if, on the other hand, the two premises were posed as if they were expected to happen together?
Alongside the children’s loud playing, the mother worked on her essay for night school.
The sentence, rewritten thus, suggests that actually, the playing and the essay writing happened in concert.
The point is that two premises might seem naturally in conflict. However, they needn’t be posed that way. The surprising twist this approach can create will probably add spice to your writing if it’s not overused:)
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.