To avoid boring your readers (as well as your examiners), your sentences in your composition should always start strong and finish stronger.
Many student writers start the majority of their sentences with the same basic formula they learned in Kindergarten: start with the subject and place the verb after it, as close as possible.
Timothy wants to become a better writer. He will write one composition a day. He is determined to succeed. Timothy does not always have enough time to practice, but he will try to find the time.
While those sentences are grammatically sound, the basic construction used in each—the same style over and over, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph—should not be repeated for every sentence in our compositions. This formulaic, monotonous pattern makes reading almost unbearable. Just imagine. You wouldn’t want to eat the same toast with kaya for every meal, seven days a week, four weeks a month, for an entire year right? Well, the same logic applies to your readers.
Using alternative constructions to start your sentence will add variety, style, and force to your compositions. Ultimately making them more appetising to your readers.
Now, let’s look at 5 creative and powerful sentence starters.
1. USE AN INFINITIVE PHRASE
An infinitive phrase will begin with an infinitive [to + simple form of the verb]. It will include objects and/or modifiers.
To improve his writing, Timothy will write one composition a day.
2. USE A PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE
At the minimum, a prepositional phrase will begin with a preposition and end with a noun, pronoun, gerund, or clause, the “object” of the preposition.
After failing his composition test yet again, Timothy has decided to write one composition a day to help improve his results.
3. USE A PARTICIPIAL PHRASE
A participle phrase will begin with a present or past participle. If the participle is present, it will dependably end in ing. Likewise, a regular past participle will end in a consistent ed. Irregular past participles, unfortunately, conclude in all kinds of ways.
Tired of doing badly for the composition tests, Timothy has decided to write one composition a day to help improve his results.
4. USE AN ADVERBIAL PHRASE
An adverb phrase is simply two or more words that act as an adverb. It can modify a verb, adverb, or adjective and can tell “how”, “where”, “why”, or “when.”
Resolutely and fastidiously, Timothy has decided to write one composition a day to help improve his results.
5. USE AN ADJECTIVE FOR FRAGMENT
A fragment is a sentence without a main clause (a subject and a verb). For this case, we will just use an adjective.
Embarrassed. Determined. Motivated. Timothy has decided to improve his writing, starting today.
With all of these constructions to begin your sentences, you will no doubt write more varied and powerful sentences. Now go and charm your readers!
If you need some help in starting a composition for a test or an exam, check out this article on 5 Steps To Start Right! You may also find out more about our English tuition for primary school students here.
For over 15 years, Augustine’s English Classes has helped hundreds of students fall in love with the subject and excelling in school exams. If you are interested to know how our classes work, or what our secret winning formula is, do feel free to drop us a message or give us a call.