Primary Writing Sydney

The Humble Sentence

I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence—which is a noble thing.

Winston Churchill

Components of Primary Writing Sydney

The basic components of writing and speaking are words and sentences. While there is a lot to be said for essay structure, for a coherent argument, and for linking ideas and sentences together, we need to be able to write good, solid, clear sentences before we can do anything else. Sentences are the building blocks; essay and speeches are built from these blocks.

Type of Sentence – Primary Writing Sydney

There are four basic types of sentences. We need to be able to use all these. And we need to be able to produce these intuitively.

Declarative Sentence – These express a statement. They are used very frequently.

‘She came here today to study, but immediately left after the blackout’
‘His poor accent is due to his foreign upbringing.’
‘The scientific changes of the era allowed considerable cultural expansion that would have been difficult in earlier times’

These declarative sentences can be compound, or short and simple. In an essay, these sentences must be linked in a coherent way.

‘Sally is in a withdrawn mood. She came here today to study but immediately left after the blackout. Now anybody who tries to talk to her is getting the cold shoulder.’

The ‘she’ in the second sentence refers to the ‘Sally’ in the first sentence. The ‘her’ in the third sentence also refers to ‘Sally’, but makes her the object rather than the subject. ‘Anybody’ in the third sentence is very general, and it is the subject of the sentence, but it works in this content.

Imperative Sentences – These are an order or instruction.

‘Obey the speed limit’
‘Nobody talks when the film has started’
‘Sit anywhere’
‘Keep off the Grass!’

Interrogative Sentences – These are questions, including rhetorical questions.

‘It never worked, so why did you bother?’
‘Were there two types, or just the one?’
‘Did you find what you were looking for?’

Exclamatory Sentence – This is also a statement of fact, but more like a conclusion, or perhaps a starting point in which to begin a discussion. They often have an exclamation point.

‘Ignoring the safety code is foolish!’
‘It is a mistake to think you can solve any important problem using potatoes!’
‘I ended up very badly sunburnt!’

Primary Writing Sydney

Learning fundamentals makes all the difference to academic performance. We coach for primary writing skills, vital for every subject.


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