Knowing when to use periodic sentences can significantly enhance their rhetorical impact. These sentence structures excel in establishing an argument, delivering a punchline, or focusing the reader’s attention on a central idea that culminates at the end of the sentence. An excellent example can be seen in the works of famous authors like P.G.
- Professor Jeanne Fahnestock notes in “Rhetorical Style” that the distinction between periodic and loose sentences “begins with Aristotle, who described types of sentences on the basis of how ‘tight’ or how ‘open’ they sounded.”
- The sentence opens with a clause and a phrase without informing the reader to whom or what they refer.
- Writers use periodic structure when they want to create drama or make their text feel more poetic and aesthetic.
- Leaving the main clause until the end of a passage or line forces the reader to dig their way through other images.
- Despite the pouring rain, the lack of a proper umbrella, and the fierce gusts of wind threatening to knock him off balance, he managed to reach his destination on time.
Besides this classification, one should have a basic idea about the concept of periodic and loose sentences. A periodic sentence is defined as a sentence in which the writer holds back the central idea till the very end. Thus, it begins with the dependent clause and ends with the independent clause. Employing a variety of sentence structures will help maintain the reader’s engagement while preventing monotony. Striking the right balance between periodic and other sentence structures, such as loose sentences, ensures your writing remains dynamic and captivating. While loose sentences more closely mirror ordinary speech, periodic sentences inject drama and excitement into your prose.
This practice allows you to detect any awkwardness in rhythm or clarity, opening up opportunities for improvement and fine-tuning. By investing time in refining your periodic sentence compositions, you can maximize their impact and help retain your reader’s interest throughout your work. Embrace the potential of periodic sentences to elevate your writing and create memorable content that resonates with your audience. Over time, periodic sentences have continued to be a popular choice among writers for their unique ability to create anticipation, hold attention, and elicit a strong response from readers.
Overview of a Periodic Sentence
Have you ever found yourself captivated by a sentence that gradually builds anticipation and suspense, as you eagerly wait for the main point to be revealed? You’ve likely encountered a periodic sentence, a form of complex sentence in English grammar that strategically structures the main idea at the end. This linguistic technique creates a powerful effect by using dependent clauses to lead up to the independent clause, emphasizing the key message. In this article, you’ll learn about the origins of periodic sentences, their unique characteristics, and how to use them effectively in your writing.
A periodic sentence helps to handle sensitive and emotional ideas and avoids offending readers. According to Grammar Monster, a periodic sentence is one in which a sentence that has been deliberately structured to place the main point at the end. A periodic sentence will have its main clause or predicate as the last part. This is a type of rhetoric like parallelism that is used to build suspense and draw the reader to a specific word while creating curiosity during the busy sentence, until the final revelation is revealed. We’ll begin our review of periodic sentences by first looking at how they differ from loose sentences. The sentence opens with a clause and a phrase without informing the reader to whom or what they refer.
This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. Periodic sentences are those that feature the main clause and/or predicate at the end of the sentence. Here, Emerson creates drama by setting up his definition of genius. Readers might find themselves surprised that belief in one’s own thought is what defines “genius” in this literary work. Leaving it till the end of the sentence makes the phrase feel more meaningful and interesting.
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In this way, loose sentences can be easily located, scanned, and mentally processed. Periodic structure means that readers have to make it through sections of information before understanding what that information https://business-accounting.net/ is describing or referring to. But, when used well and sparingly, a periodic structure can also make sentences feel more dramatic and interesting. It’s most commonly used in creative writing and informal writing.
Loose Sentences and Periodic Sentences
Short sentences are simple sentences that cannot put emphasis on information that is more important. Complex sentences are mostly used when the writer wants to arrange the information in an order of importance. It creates a dramatic effect, as it keeps periodic sentence definition the reader in suspense about what is going to happen. On the flip side, it forces the reader to search for the delayed main idea. The reader could sometimes lose interest midway, especially in case of periodic interruptive sentences that are long.
He is also an online editor and writer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google and became infatuated with English Grammar and for years has been diving into the language, demystifying the do’s and don’ts for all who share the same passion! “The proper place in the sentence for the word or group of words that the writer desires to make most prominent is usually the end.” ✤ She is having the time of her life, doing all that she has been wanting to do for years. ✤ Considering the low crime rate, scenic beauty, simplicity of the people, and the good weather, I am more than willing to live here for the rest of my life. Natasha gained comfort on the ice by beginning to skate when only five.
This can create a feeling of suspense and even help to focus the reader’s attention. It’s especially useful if a writer is building up to something and wants the reader to understand how important that thing is. Periodic structure involves structuring a sentence or paragraph so that the main point or idea is not revealed until the end.
Here, Coelho’s speaker places the main clause “you’ll be a happy man” at the end of the statement. It takes reading through “If you can always concentrate on the present” to get to the main point of the sentence. A complex sentence is like a master storyteller – offering you an engaging narrative fueled by detail, depth, and intrigue. If the writer put the main clause at the start, it may offend people.
Let’s look into complex sentences in more depth and figure out what they mean. By understanding the differences between periodic and loose sentences, writers can make informed choices about how to structure their sentences for the desired effect. The key is to balance these various sentence structures to create engaging and dynamic writing that captures and retains the reader’s interest. Characterized by the presence of an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses, these sentence structures skillfully convey relationships like cause-and-effect, comparison, and other logical connections. This added layer of information helps to provide context or detailed descriptions, enriching the overall narrative.
“In the almost incredibly brief time which it took the small but sturdy porter to roll a milk-can across the platform and bump it, with a clang, against other milk-cans similarly treated a moment before, Ashe fell in love.”