Primary Composition Writing | Starting sentences with introductory clauses
Hello! Welcome back to the blog! As your oral and SA1 examinations draw near, I hope you are not overwhelmed by school work and revision. To give you a helping hand, I have prepared a resource for you which can be downloaded at the end of the post. Look out for it!
Before that, let’s focus on the topic for today. As you know, the beautiful thing about English is that the various components of the language overlap with one another and the skills learnt are often applicable across various components. For instance, since a sentence can be written or spoken, knowing a variety of sentence structures will be useful for both writing and speaking. That is exactly what I thought would be useful to revise with you today - the use of sentence starters to help you create variety in your sentence structures.
In our previous post, we have talked about how to apply sentence starters to enhance a paragraph consisting of sentences that tend to begin mainly with a noun or pronoun. Shall we revise again here? Take a look at the following paragraph:
There are no grammatical errors in the sentences. However, the repetition of the SVO structure made the paragraph dull and monotonous. How then do we change things up and make the paragraph more interesting?
A good way to break up the monotony of the sentences is to use introductory clauses.
Introductory clauses are dependent clauses made up of words that provide more information for the independent clauses. As its name suggests, it introduces a sentence and can be thought of as the “setting” of a main sentence. These clauses reveal information about when, where, how, why, or under what circumstances the action occurs.
Here is a list of the different types of introductory clauses. (This list is not exhaustive.)
Remember to put your commas
Introductory clauses often require a comma. This provides an appropriate pause when reading and helps ensure that the intended meaning is conveyed.
Look at this example:
After eating Grandma went to bed. (Grandma was eaten? Confusion occurs!)
After eating, Grandma went to bed. (Phew, no confusion here!)
Do note that there are exceptions to this. For example, the sentence “To go for an interview without any preparation would be foolish.” does not require a comma.
Now let’s try to improve on the sample paragraph earlier by using some of these introductory clauses!
I hope you are clearer about the various types of introductory clauses and how you can use them. To practise (Infinitive clause!), try adding the introductory clauses to the following sentences:
Wish to know the suggested answers to the above? If you would like a longer list of the clauses for revision as well as the suggested answers, the good news is that they are available to be downloaded here. All the best and impress your examiners by using these clauses to begin your sentences now!
Ms Cynthia is an English Teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. In her 5 years of English Language teaching experience, she has enjoyed guiding her students to explore the literary world and provide them with the tools to unpack and decipher texts. As a teacher who is passionate about the language, she hopes to inspire the children to become creative and critical thinkers who will be ready to face the challenges of the world.