Practice in Combining and Arranging Sentences
What Is Sentence Combining and How Does It Work?
Find out about sentence combining--a friendly (and generally more effective) alternative to traditional grammar instruction. Then begin developing your sentence-combining skills here at About.com Grammar & Composition.
Introduction to Sentence Combining
An introduction to the basic principles and methods of sentence combining.
Sentence Combining Exercise #2: New York Is a City of Things Unnoticed
If you have read our Introduction to Sentence Combining, you're now ready to try your hand at combining sentences to form a complete paragraph--an excerpt from the Gay Talese essay "New York Is a City of Things Unnoticed."
Sentence Combining Exercise #3: Martha's Departure
Combine sentences with adjectives and adverbs to build a coherent narrative paragraph.
Sentence Combining Exercise #4: Composing With Basic Modifiers
This exercise will give you practice in building sentences with the basic modifiers: adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases.
Sentence Combining Exercise #5: The San Francisco Earthquake
This exercise, which has been adapted from Jack London's account of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, offers practice in coordinating different sentence elements in the context of complete paragraphs.
Sentence Combining Exercise #6: Composing With Adjective Clauses
If you have read our introduction to sentence combining and practiced building sentences with adjective clauses, you're now ready for this paragraph-building exercise, "Rolling Along with Mr. Bill."
Sentence Combining Exercise #7: Out of the Ice Age
This sentence-combining exercise has been adapted from two paragraphs in "The Dream Animal," a chapter in Loren Eiseley's book "The Immense Journey" (1957). Sentences that can be turned into adjective clauses are in italics. After you have completed this exercise, compare your work with the edited passage on page two.
Sentence Combining #8: How Teachers Make Children Hate Reading
This sentence-combining exercise has been adapted from two paragraphs in "The Underachieving School," by John Holt. The first paragraph focuses on causes--why and how many children are conditioned to "hate reading." The second paragraph considers the effects of such conditioning. Note that several of Holt's original sentences contain adverb...
Sentence Combining Exercise #9: The Kitchen
This exercise, adapted from a paragraph in Alfred Kazin's memoir, offers practice in combining sentences to create a descriptive paragraph.
Sentence Combining Exercise #10: Mrs. Bridge
This sentence-combining exercise has been adapted from the final chapter of the novel "Mrs. Bridge," by Evan S. Connell.
Sentence Combining Exercise #11: My Home of Yesteryear
This combining exercise has been adapted from the last five paragraphs of the essay "My Home of Yesteryear," a place description composed by a nontraditional student. In the original essay, several of the student's sentences contain participial phrases.
Sentence Combining Exercise #12: Orwell's "A Hanging"
This combining exercise invites you to experiment with a variety of sentence structures.
Sentence Combining Exercise: A Slippery Thief
This sentence-combining exercise has been adapted from a narrative paragraph relating the misadventures of a would-be thief. Your job is to combine the sentences in each set of the exercise. Several of the sentences contain participial phrases.
Sentence Combining Exercise #14: The Gramercy Gym
Adapted from a paragraph in Edward Hoagland's essay "Heart's Desire," this combining exercise invites you to experiment with a variety of sentence structures.
Sentence Combining Exercise: Ernie Munger's Run
Adapted from two paragraphs in the novel "Fat City" by Leonard Gardner, this sentence-combining exercise invites you to experiment with a variety of structures, including absolute phrases.
Advanced Sentence Combining: Building Paragraphs
After reading the article "What Is Sentence Combining?" and completing several of the basic sentence-combining exercises, you should be ready to tackle this advanced exercise in paragraph building.
Combining Sentences With the Correct Words
Our Glossary of Usage contains more than 150 sets of commonly confused words. To test your familiarity with some of these confusables, complete the following two-step exercise.