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Chapter 13. Sentence and Sensibility > Sentence Structure: The Fab Four - Pg. 129

Sentence and Sensibility 129 independent clause · I planned to drive to work, but I couldn't independent clause independent clause until the mechanic repaired my car. dependent clause The Choice Is Yours Decisions, decisions: Now that you know you have four different sentence types at your disposal, which ones should you use? Effective communication requires not only that you write complete sentences, but also that you write sentences that say exactly what you mean. Try these six guide- lines as you decide which sentence types to use and when: · Every sentence should provide clear and complete information. · Most effective sentences are concise, conveying their meaning in as few words as possible. · Effective sentences stress the main point or the most important detail. In most cases, the main point is located in the main clause to make it easier to find. · Your choice of sentences depends on your audience. For example, you would use simple sen- tences and short words if your readers were children, while an audience of engineers would call for more technical language and longer sentences. · Always consider your purpose for writing before you select a sentence type. · The rhythm and pacing of your writing is determined by your sentences. Danger, Will Robinson Don't join the two parts of a compound sentence with a comma--you'll end up with a type of run-on sentence called a comma splice. More on this later in this chapter. Before you shift into panic mode, you should know that most writers use a combination of all four sentence types to convey their meaning. Even Ernest Hemingway slipped a compound sentence or two in among all those simple sentences. Besides, there's much more on this topic in Chapter 14. By the time you finish this book, you'll be picking sentence types as easily as you pick up the daily newspaper. You Could Look It Up Your readers make up your audience.