What is a run-on sentence?

Note: The WritingEssentials blog is on hiatus. Meanwhile, favorite posts will be published with updates. This is an update of part 1 of “What is a sentence?” Ellen ~~ Run-on sentences, which include comma splices and fused sentences, deal with the question When is a sentence a sentence? A run-on sentences is essentially a compound sentence that …

What is a run-on sentence? Read More »

What is the Oxford or Serial Comma Controversy? Updated 1.8.21

Note: The WritingEssentials blog is on hiatus. Meanwhile, favorite posts will be published with updates. Ellen ~~ To comma or not to comma? What do you do when using a comma in a series? Do you write red, white, and blue  or   red, white and blue? The use of comma in a series or list …

What is the Oxford or Serial Comma Controversy? Updated 1.8.21 Read More »

Devices for Sentence Variety

The past few posts have focused on subordination by dependent clauses and subordination by verbals and reduction. We use subordination to express relationships between our ideas, combining ideas and sentences of unequal importance. When we create complex sentences, we combine two independent clauses, by changing one independent clause into a dependent (subordinate) clause which contains …

Devices for Sentence Variety Read More »

Subordination by Reduction

We have examining the ways of using subordination, whether through dependent clauses (adverb, adjective, noun) or through verbals (infinitives, gerunds, or present and past participles). These are all examples of reduction, reducing the number of words without losing our meaning. Sentence    ↓ Clause    ↓ Phrase (verbal, appositive, prepositional)    ↓ Word (adjective, adverb) …

Subordination by Reduction Read More »

Focus on Noun Clause as Subordination

The Writingessentialsbyellen.com blog has been examining English sentence types, with the most recent focus on complex sentences. Complex sentences, formed by subordinating one idea (or sentence) to another, are useful for showing the various kinds of relationship that exist among ideas. We considered the adverb clause and the adjective clause, two ways to form complex …

Focus on Noun Clause as Subordination Read More »

Focus on Adjective Clause as Subordination

We have been examining English sentence types with a focus on complex sentences. In the previous post, we considered adverb clauses—clauses that are used as adverbs. This post will give attention to adjective clauses. As its name suggests, adjective clauses are clauses that are used as adjectives. We have looked in a number of posts …

Focus on Adjective Clause as Subordination Read More »

Focus on Adverb Clause as Subordination

When it comes to adverbial modifiers, some authors have said in the well-known advice to “kill your darlings” because “[T]he road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Despite such admonitions, some feel that these modifiers can be both useful and essential to writers. For instance in the post Advice on adverbs, I quoted Barbara Baig, …

Focus on Adverb Clause as Subordination Read More »

Using basic sentence types in writing

The previous two posts focused on basic sentence types in English: the first on the simple sentence and its patterns, and the second on the other sentence types: compound, complex, and compound-complex. These are the foundations of composition, whether fiction or nonfiction. In her article on voice in writing, Darcy Pattison, who argues writers need …

Using basic sentence types in writing Read More »