Grammar. It should be a cursed word and for many it is. With so many rules and regulations that go with writing it can be overwhelming at times. But you see, words do not go together in any old way, they are arranged in a specific way according to a system that we call Grammar.
It's that system that often trips us up and causes us to stumble over the English language. But for word mincers like yourself, grammar is your new best friend. After all, you need words to make a sentence, you need a sentence to complete your thought, and your thoughts are what you get paid to share.
If you don't have the right thoughts or sentences in place then you won't be understood and you certainly won't get paid to write. So, let us dive into this crazy world of grammar and come out ready to conquer the page! Let us begin with sentence structure.
Each and every sentence is created by using words the complete a thought. Every single sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a specific punctuation be it a period, exclamation, or question mark.
An example of capitalization and punctuation:
* The dog is brown.
* No don't do that!
* Where are you going?
WHAT IS A PROPER SENTENCE?
You will notice that sometimes a sentence doesn't make sense. That is because it is an incomplete sentence. Incomplete sentences often lead to confusion. Plus, they don't convey what the person is really trying to say.
An example of incomplete sentences:
* When you finish cleaning.
* Running in the house.
* A good friend of mine.
Examples of complete sentences:
* When you finish cleaning your room you can play.
* Running in the house can be hazardous to you and other people.
* Stacy is a good friend of mine.
THE PURPOSE OF A SENTENCE:
A sentence has four purposes:
1) To tell and make statements.
2) To ask questions
3) To request or give a command
4) To express feelings
With the four purposes comes the four names of a sentence:
Can you guess which name goes with which type of sentence? A declarative sentence makes a statement or tells the audience something. The interrogative sentence asks the questions. Think of the interrogation room in a crime movie. It's the place where the cops beat down the criminal until they talk. - Same idea here and should make it easier to remember. The imperative sentence often gives a command or is requesting something. Lastly, there is the exclamatory sentence that shows extreme emotions. Okay, so it doesn't have to be extreme emotions. However, with exclamation points, it's hard not to read the sentence any other way.
AND THE BAND PLAYS ON:
Sentences need to contain only one specific or important thought or idea. Sometimes you will find that a sentence has too many thoughts strung together like a necklace. The sentence just goes on and on and on and on. - You get the point.
These sentences that seem to last forever are called run-on sentences. Often times such sentences are connected with the words and, and so, or and then. So you see, when writing it is best to leave out the word "and" no matter how tempting it will be. After all, the reader needs time to pause after a sentence. The reader needs to be able to grasp the ideas or thoughts you just presented them. Using 'and' to continue the thought quickly becomes a rant. The last thing you want to do to your readers is to make them feel like you are ranting. So leave out the "and" as much as possible. Stick to one idea per sentence and let the band take a break.
SHOW DON'T TELL:
You will hear a lot of writers tell you to show don't tell. By implementing this practice early on, you will be able to save yourself a lot of editing. The "show - don't tell" also helps to make your sentence more interesting. It helps the readers to "see" what is going on instead of being a bystander just being told what is happening.
The show don't tell is very important when it comes to creative writing, yet it is just as powerful for those who write articles as well.
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