CMN 279 – Lecture #5
How Sentences Work
How well you express your thoughts depends largely on how well you can craft sentences and organize
them into phrases and clauses
Phrase: group of words containing either a subject or a verb (but not both) which cannot stand on its
own as a complete sentence
Clause: group of related words containing a subject and a complete verb; when it delivers full meaning
it is called an independent clause; when it doesn't deliver full meaning by itself, it is called a dependent
or subordinate clause.
-Although the program cost more than we expected, it has...
The program cost more than we expected
Although the program cost more than we expected, it has improved company morale.
The program, which cost more than we expected, has improved company morale
Type of Sentences
1. Simple – one independent clause (we will vote on the issue)
2. Compound- two independent clauses (Fred will present his report, and we will vote on the
3. Complex- one dependent and one independent clause (When we meet Thursday, we will vote on
4. Compound-complex- one dependent and two independent clauses (When we meet Thursday,
Fred will present his report, and we will vote on the issue.)
• straightforward and emphatic (the shorter, the more emphatic)
• Without connecting words, may not fully show relationships among ideas
• Strong of simple sentences can be flat, boring and monotonous
Tax season is approaching. I would like to update you on some details. These details relate to
allowable deductions. Compound Sentences:
• Join related sentences with coordinate conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)
• Stress the equivalence or equal value of the ideas expressed
• Over-coordinated sentences skew logic and lack unity
– I look forward to our next appointment, when you may choose from a number of investment
– You may choose from a number of options and look forward to our next appointment. (Over-
3 & 4. Complex and Compound-complex
• Best at showing the relative importance of ideas and encompassing details
• Any of the following subordinate markers lessen the grammatical value of the word they're
Although even if though
As even though unless
As if if until
As soon as if only when
Because inspite of where
Before rather than whereas
• Aclause introduced by a subordinate marker must rely for its meaning on an independent clause
that is part of the same sentence.
Dependent clause:Although tomorrow's e-business seminar has been cancelled
Complex sentence: Although tomorrow's e-business seminar has been cancelled, you will have an
opportunity to learn about e-business issues at a series of lectures scheduled forApril.
• The longer your sentences and the more clauses they have, the harder it is for the reader to find
the subjects and verbs essential for delivering meaning.
• Sentences with more than three clauses can be difficult and confusing to read.
Sentence Strategy – Adding Emp