Rolling Along With Mr. Bill
This exercise has been adapted from a student's description of her high school music teacher. Combine the sentences in each set into a single clear sentence, and arrange your new sentences into a coherent paragraph. Sentences that can be turned into adjective clauses are in italics. After you have completed this exercise, compare your work with the original passage on page two.
- Mr. William Herring has been affectionately dubbed "Mr. Bill" by his music students.
Mr. William Herring is the jolliest man I know.
- His outward features are often hidden behind a grand piano.
His outward features reflect the character within.
The character within is delightful.
- His hair is red.
His hair is frizzy.
His hair is like Orphan Annie's.
- His head is fat.
His head is round.
- He has small eyes.
His eyes are dark.
His eyes are hamster-like.
His eyes peer inquisitively from behind metal-rimmed glasses.
- His mouth is small.
His mouth is always formed into a grin.
The grin is friendly.
- His neck is thick.
His neck connects this funny head to a torso.
The torso is egg-shaped.
From this torso stretch two fat arms with plump hands and fingers shaped like hot dogs.*
[* Begin this adjective clause with the phrase from which stretch . . ..]
- On one of these fingers is a gold ring.
The ring is diamond-studded.
The gleam of this ring matches the brilliance of Mr. Bill's smile.
- His Santa Claus belly, girded by a cowboy belt, hangs over baggy trousers.
These are the sort of trousers that went out with leisure suits and platform shoes.
- Mr. Bill's shoes, however, are invisible beneath his trousers.
Yet his walk is distinctive.
- In fact, he seems to roll rather than walk.
- He rolls to the rhythm of his own laughter.
His students roll right along with him.
After you have completed this exercise, compare your work with the original passage on page two.
Next Exercise: Sentence Combining: Out of the Ice Age