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Lesson 6 – Simple Sentences
9, 10, 11, 12
Title – Writing and Grammar Unit – Lesson 6
By – John Foley
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 9-12
- A simple sentence can have single or compound subjects and predicates. It has only one independent clause, and no dependent clauses. And a simple sentence can contain one or more phrases.
- Usually, simple sentences are short. For this reason, they are generally preferred for young writers, because short sentences are easier to control and easier to read. Perhaps the most famous writer of short sentences was Ernest Hemingway. He also wrote many sentences that were moderately long, but his short, staccato sentences are part of his legacy. Consider the following passage from
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
- , about a man finding his courage on a safari after an embarrassing display of cowardice:
Beggar had probably been afraid all his life. Don’t know what started it. But over now. Hadn’t had time to be afraid with the buff. That and being angry too. Motor car too. Motor car made it familiar. Be a **** fire eater now. He’d seen it in the war work the same way. More of a change than any loss of virginity. Fear gone like an operation. Something else grew in its place. Main thing a man had. Made him into a man. Women knew it too. No bloody fear.
- The sentences in this passage average fewer than six words. Hemingway also used sentences fragments, and while students should generally avoid these, they can be effective in experienced hands. This short style looks easier than it is. Give it a try yourself. Assemble the following items into a paragraph in which you write sentences no more than eight words in length. You can use all or some of the items listed.
An island . . . a family . . . a storm . . . treasure . . . rescue . . . sharks
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