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Sentence Combining Exercises

Sentence combining calls on you to experiment with different ways of building sentences and organizing paragraphs. A detailed knowledge of formal grammar is not required to complete these exercises. Regular practice in sentence combining should help you to develop a writing style that is both correct and effective.

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.

Exercise in Using Specific Descriptive Details in Sentences
This exercise will give you practice in using specific descriptive details to create a vivid impression of a particular place.

Exercise: Sentence Building with Adjectives and Adverbs
In this exercise you will apply the basic strategies outlined in Introduction to Sentence Combining.

Exercise: Sentence Building with Prepositional Phrases
In this exercise you will continue to apply the basic strategies outlined in Introduction to Sentence Combining.

Exercise: Sentence Building with Coordinators
In this exercise you will apply the strategies introduced in "Coordinating Words, Phrases, and Clauses."

Sentence Recombining: The Flood, by John Steinbeck
This recombining exercise shows that breaking down a long sentence into two or three shorter ones can help make our writing clearer and easier to read. The exercise has been adapted from the first paragraph of Chapter 29 of John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939).

Exercise: Sentence Building with Adjective Clauses
Now we're ready to practice building and combining sentences with adjective clauses.

Exercise: Sentence Building with Appositives
Additional practice in building and combining sentences with appositives.

Building and Revising Sentences with Appositives
An appositive is a word or group of words that concisely identifies or renames another word in a sentence. The exercises on this page offer practice in building and revising sentences with appositives.

Exercise: Sentence Building with Adverb Clauses
Here we'll practice building and combining sentences with adverb clauses.

Exercise: Sentence Building with Participial Phrases
These sentence combining exercises will give you a chance to apply the principles introduced in "Creating and Arranging Participial Phrases."

Exercise: Sentence Building with Absolutes
These sentence combining exercises will give you a chance to apply the principles introduced in Building Sentences with Absolute Phrases.

Exercise: Sentence Building With Noun Phrases and Noun Clauses
In this exercise we'll practice building and combining sentences with noun phrases and noun clauses.

Cohesion Exercise: Combining and Connecting Sentences
This exercise will give you an opportunity to apply the techniques discussed in the article Cohesion Strategies: Signal Words and Phrases.

Sentence Combining: 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: Martha's Departure
Combine sentences with adjectives and adverbs to build a coherent narrative paragraph.

Sentence Combining: 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: Using Adjective Clauses
If you have read our introduction to sentence combining and practiced building sentences with adjective clauses, you're now ready for these two paragraph-building exercises, "Rolling Along with Mr. Bill" and "Out of the Ice Age."

Sentence Combining: 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: 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: Mrs. Bridge
This sentence-combining exercise has been adapted from the final chapter of the novel "Mrs. Bridge," by Evan S. Connell.

Sentence Combining #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: Orwell's "A Hanging"
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.

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.

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