Complete Sentences: S + V
When we write technical, academic, or formal English, we must make sure to write complete sentences. A sentence is complete if it has at least one Subject and one Verb. (S+V). For example:
Mike studies Japanese everyday.
This is a complete sentence. “Mike” is the Subject and “studies” is the Verb. (“Japanese” is what Mike studies. We call this the “Object” of the verb: SVO) This type of verb is called a “Do” Verb. Another type of complete English sentence uses “Be” Verbs.
He is tired.
It is a complete sentence even though it is very short. In contrast, the following is not a complete sentence even though it is very long:
Because the train from Kochi Station was late due to heavy rains that often happen in June.
Q: Why is this not a complete sentence? What does it need?
[Pro Tip: Never start a sentence with “Because” or “So” unless you are very sure of what you are doing.]
Better Sentences: Flow
Good writing depends on sentences that flow like a river. They are easier to read and have usually have many fewer words. For example, these sentences do not flow:
I was a child.
I had a pet.
The pet was a dog.
The dog was little.
The dog’s name was “Goro.” (22 words)
Each of those sentences is very short, but has only one piece of real information. That’s a very inefficient and foolish way to write. It would be much better to combine these little sentences into one beautiful sentence that flows like river:
When I was child, I had a little pet dog named “Goro.” (12 words)
Now you try. Combine these short sentences into longer, more beautiful sentences.
- Braille is a system.
- The system is special.
- It is a system of writing.
- It is a system for reading.
- It is a system for people.
- The people are blind.
- The time was yesterday.
- Jack went to the store.
- He bought a banana.
- He bought some soy milk.
- It was for the party. The party is tonight.
- Jim Thorpe won medals.
- The medals were Olympic medals.
- They were gold medals.
- He won them in 1912.
- He was not allowed to keep the medals.
- Kochi has mountains.
- There many mountains.
- The mountains are beautiful.
- These mountains attract trekkers.
- These trekkers are from all over Japan.
- Imoten is a snack.
- It is a snack from Kochi.
- It is especially popular.
- Tourist often buy it.
- They buy it at Sunday Market.
- I practiced my speech.
- I did this with my notes.
- I did this in front of a mirror.
- I did this in front of my cat.
- I did this in front of my boyfriend.
- Film acting begins with a screenplay.
- The screenplay includes all the written information.
- The information is about the set and the actors’ dialogues.
- The screenplay grows into a movie.
[Notes: The following sentences are not in order. Change these into no more than 5 sentences.]
- My friend said, “You said let’s meet outside Lawson.”
- I felt impatient.
- My friend didn’t come for a long time.
- I was reading a comic book.
- I was waiting for my friend at Lawson.
- I asked my friend, “What are you doing out here?”
- I was surprised.
- I saw my friend standing outside.
- I went out of the store.
Homework (due next class): Write up your partner introduction in complete sentences in as few words as possible.