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Sentence openers

Sentence openers

Author: Kathy Hanley

    Introduce different types of sentence openers and give examples for how varying sentence openers can improve writing.  


    Compare standard order of sentences with inversion/fronting of prepositional phrases and other dependent clauses (e.g. In the woods, he built a cabin. vs. He build a cabin in the woods.)


This packet should help a learner seeking to understand English writing style and who is confused about how to vary sentence openers. It will explain how to connect clauses with subordinators. 

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Dull Sentences


A Very Boring Story

The sun came up.  The burglar was in the room.  The man woke up.  The burglar stared.  The man was scared. The alarm went off.  The burglar ran.  The man called out.


A story about a man waking up to find a burglar in his house should be exciting and scary.  This story is just boring. 


The answer is easy.  The sentences are all the same.  They all start with a noun and a verb. 

To have interesting, lively writing, you need to vary your sentence openings and structures.

Creating Effective Sentence Openers

Ideas to create effective openers

Source: Created by me

Retelling the Story

See how mixing up the way you begin sentences can create a much more exciting story


A Not So Boring Story

Brightly announcing the dawning of the day, he sun came up.  Dressed in black, the burglar was in the room.  Screaming in terror, the man woke up.  At the horrific sound, the burglar stared.  The man was scared out of his mind. Shrieking, the alarm went off.  Scared and worried, the burglar ran.  Running after the burglar, the man called out for help.

Source: Created by me