image asset 7 1 1

Primary English | Creative Writing: Variety in Your Sentences (With Connectors + Present Participle)

Hello once again! In a previous post by Mrs Chew, she mentioned the different ways that a sentence can be started. Today, I am going to focus on making your writing more interesting by adding variety in your sentences such as longer or more complex ones. If your child is learning to move on from simple sentence structures or have been told that his or her sentences are always the same, this post with two simple tips will be a good start to help them form longer and more interesting sentences.

One way to be a good writer is to have a variety of sentences. This means that your writing should be made up of short as well as long sentences. Some sentences are simple while others are more complex.

Read the paragraphs below. What makes Paragraph B better than A?

a variety of sentences.

 

You will notice that Paragraph A is mainly made up of short or simple sentences. Most of the sentences also begin the same way, either using ‘I’ or ‘she’. They follow the most common pattern: subject-verb-object.

Although using short or simple sentences can create a powerful effect, remember that having only one type of sentence can be rather tiresome for the reader. Also, using short or simple sentences all the time may make your writing appear disjointed because the ideas do not seem connected to one another.

I am going to show you two ways that you can write a more complex sentence and will use Paragraph B as an example.

1. Joining two simple sentences using Connectors

Using two simple sentences in Paragraph A:

I sat down gratefully on the bench. I noticed an elderly lady trying to cross the road in front of me.

Notice how in Paragraph B these two sentences are joined by ‘as’:

As I sat down gratefully on the bench, I noticed an elderly lady trying to cross the road in front of me.

Using connectors not only allow you to create a longer sentence but they also show how the two ideas are related to each other. In this instance, it shows what happened when the writer sat on the bench.

However, avoid trying to join more than two or three ideas in one sentence. This will make the sentence too complicated and you are more likely to make more grammatical errors if your sentence is too long.

2. Joining two simple sentences using the Present Participle

Using two simple sentences in Paragraph A:

She ignored the ‘no crossing’ sign. She tottered unsteadily onto the road.

Instead of starting both sentences with ‘she’, use the present participle to join the two sentences:

Ignoring the ‘no crossing’ sign, she tottered unsteadily onto the road.

Using the present participle helps to break the monotony of using the typical subject-verb-object pattern. Remember that you can use the present participle in these two ways:

  1. to join two actions that occur at the same time and done by the same person. For example:

He hummed to himself. He walked down the street.

Humming to himself, he walked down the street.

       2. to replace a phrase starting with ‘as’, ‘since’ or ‘because’. For example:

She was hungry. She decided to cook dinner.

Feeling hungry, she decided to cook dinner.

[Instead of: She decided to cook dinner because she was hungry.]

For a more advanced writer, you can even consider combining the two ways I have suggested. For instance, look at this last sentence in Paragraph B:

I was filled with anxiety as I watched her hobble slowly across the road, fearing for her safety.

The writer has combined three short sentences using a connector and a present participle.

Common Errors

When combining short sentences to make a longer one, one important thing to remember is to use the correct connector or participle. Also, NEVER use commas to join your ideas. For instance:

I sat down gratefully on the bench, I noticed an elderly lady trying to cross the road in front of me, she had a huge bag slung across her bony shoulders.

You cannot join sentences in this manner because commas are used to separate words in a series of items. They are not meant to connect ideas. In this example, the writer should either separate each idea with a full stop or use proper connectors.

Read the paragraph below. Use the two ways you have learnt in this post to write more complex sentences.

Common Errors

Is your paragraph similar to the one below? The words in bold are the connectors and present participle verbs that we have used to form the longer sentences. This is not the only way to improve on the paragraph above. You may have chosen other connectors or used only one present participle. As long as the sentences are connected logically and are not too long (remember, maximum of 2 or 3 ideas per sentence!), it is fine.

Common Errors

I hope I have provided useful tips that you can use to improve your writing. See you again soon!


 

Variety in Your Sentences

The Write Recipe
  1. Learn about how to plan your writing

  2. Know the key ingredients to create exciting content during planning

  3. See the flow of your story with our unique paragraph-by-paragraph structure (New!)

  4. Application to questions with the PSLE format

Group 48 1
Ms. Nora

Nora is an English Teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. She is committed to providing students with a dynamic and nurturing environment in which they can grow and develop. One of her greatest strengths as an educator is instilling a love for the English Language in her students.

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Share

Other related posts

Creative Writing | 3 Easy Steps to Write Your Own Haiku!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 3: Changes in Verb Forms
Ketchup on English! – is, are, was and were!
Audience In Visual Text | Visual Text Comprehension
Exploring Points of View (POV) in Composition Writing
Metaphors For? | Part II – Implied Metaphors
10 Beautiful Vivid Verbs to Boost Your Writing and Oral! | Primary School English
Metaphors For? | Part I – An Introduction to Metaphors
3 Family-Friendly Shows on Netflix (Educational & Entertaining)!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 2: Tenses
2021 Father’s Day Contest Winners
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 1: Subject-Verb Agreement
10 Beautiful Words You Can Use in Narrative / Descriptive Writing | Secondary School
Ways To Create A Well-Rounded Character | Creative Writing
Understanding Purpose-Related Questions in Visual Text Comprehension
How Playing Video Games Can Improve Our English (With Practical Tips for Parents!)
Primary School Composition | Onomatopoeia – What’s That?
2021 Mother’s Day Contest Winners + Our Founder’s Journey (Mother’s Day Special)!
Composition Revision: Using Your 5 Senses in Your Writing
How to Create A Dynamic Piece of Writing Using Idioms
Ketchup on English! – Subject-Verb Agreement
Punctuation Marks: Colon Vs. Semicolon
4 steps to Create Suspense
That Simile Though 2 | Using Stronger Similes
Up-Close and Personal: Getting to Know the Personal Recount Essay
PSLE ORAL | Compiled Prelim 2021 Oral Topics + Questions!
If you’re looking at getting recent PSLE Prelim Oral topics and practice questions, this will be an excellent resource for you!
5 Steps to Convert a Newspaper Article into a Cloze Passage
I would like to share with you 5 steps on how authentic articles can be transformed into cloze passages easily. Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Free SG50 Sample Practice + Model Answers
In this blogpost we will be touching on the oral stimulus-based conversation topic of National Day and SG50! Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Filling your Story with Details Easily + Free Revision Cards
By simply using the 5W1H, your children will be able to lengthen their stories (hence, the conversation!). Read on here!
PSLE English | Situational Writing: Q&A + Formal vs Informal Writing Comparison Chart
To aid you in your situational writing revision, here is a comparison chart that shows the differences between formal and informal writing!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Stimulus-Based Conversation Checklist
To help my children handle the Stimulus-Based Conversation examination, here are some instructions again about using the checklist!
A Little Encouragement | DIY Motivational Bookmark (Easy to personalise too!)
A bookmark with a quote to motivate is also a chance for them to see the power of words and how words can mean more than what they seem.
Situational Writing: Step-by-Step Guide + Free Revision Card
I believe a walkthrough on the process of doing situational writing is in order. Here are the requirements for content and language!
I Love Reading | 5 Ways to Motivate Reluctant Readers
One of the most important ingredients necessary for a child or anyone learning English is the habit of reading. Get motivated to read now!
PSLE English | Printable Ultimate Grammar & Synthesis Summary
Today, we are sharing two lists of essentials in our Ultimate Grammar and Synthesis Summary Printable. Download them free here!
How Well Do You Know Your Past Participles?
While we are familiar with the past, present and future tenses, the little less known but equally important tense is the past participles.
Primary Composition Writing | Starting Sentences with Introductory Clauses
Today, we'll be revising the use of sentence starters to help you create variety in your sentence structures. Read on here!
The Sentence Train | Lower Primary English
Today, we are going to learn what makes up a sentence. It will come in handy when you do the word order activity in school! Read on here!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Reading Checklist
This Oral Reading Checklist can be used by children when they practise reading on their own. Download it now!
Language of COVID | 10 Words Added to the Dictionary
Using Personification to Show, Not Tell!
Expressing Character Feelings Too! | Using Show-Not-Tell (Part 2)
How to Choose a Book to Read: 8 Ways
How to Dress Up A Boring Paragraph | Creative Writing
Ketchup on English! – Halloween Special: Prepositions of Time!
Ketchup on English! – Verbs Are Not Just Action Words!
Expressing Character Feelings | Using Show-Not-Tell
Which Picture Should I Use? | Choosing the Best Picture to Use for Composition!
Oral: Reading Passage | Long Vowels – Have You Been Reading Your Vowels Correctly?
Previous
Next

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!

shape icon 06
shape icon 05