See you next time!

This lesson may not have been immediately practical, but hopefully it's given you an interesting perspective on how language 'fits together'.

And we hope to see you soon in Part 2 – Complex Sentences.

You'll understand all of these by the end of the next lesson!

Pick a paragraph.

  • Look for verb groups within each sentence. How many clauses does each sentence have?
  • What are the subjects of those clauses? Are there any implied subjects?
  • Which verb groups require objects?
  • Does the writer use a lot of modifiers, or only a few?

Do you notice differences in how clauses are used in different kinds of texts (stories, reports, essays, newspaper articles...)? Look for differences in the number of clauses per sentence, how common implied subjects are, and the number of modifiers.

Lots of places! In order of appearance:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the final book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, about a boy who goes to wizards' school and fights evil with his friends.

Shakespeare's London on 5 Groats a Day by Richard Tames is book about Renaissance-era London written in the style of a tourist guide.

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man is the 3rd book in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lionness quartet, about a girl who wants to be a knight and do great deeds.

Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware by M.T. Anderson follows 3 kids on a wild adventure into a strange place full of mysteries.

Burning for Revenge is the 5th book in John Marsden's Tomorrow series about a group of Australian teenagers fighting off invaders.

Flour Babies by Anne Fine follows a class who are assigned a project they are not all that keen about for the school's annual science fair.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is about a boy who gets on a train to the North Pole and has a Christmas adventure.

The Old, Dead Nuisance is a short story by M.T. Anderson published in Guys Read: Thriller (edited by Jon Scieszka). It's about two fake psychics in a real haunted house.

Unbelievable! is a collection of weird and wacky short stories by Paul Jennings.

The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson is about a girl living in a children's home and dreaming of having a family.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne is an adventure story about a man who is rescued/kidnapped by an enigmatic sea captain who pilots a submarine.

Does My Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdel-Fattah follows a muslim girl who decides to wear the hijab, and must navigate the reactions of her family, friends, and peers.

The Secret Commonwealth is the 2nd book in Phillip Pullman's Book of Dust series, a fantasy epic about a woman entangled in a strange and unknowable destiny.

Mosquito Advertising: The Blade Brief by Kate Hunter is about a group of teenagers who run an advertising agency and are approached by a very big client with equally big problems.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste is a spine-tingling tale about a fearless girl saving her island from the Jumbies, based on a classic Haitian folktale.

Rocket Boys (also published under the name October Sky) is American engineer Homer Hickam Jr.'s memoir about growing up in a mining town with a dream to build rockets.

Odysseus and the Cyclops from Homer's Odyssey is the story of the Greek hero Odysseus coming up against the one-eyed monster, Cyclops. A classic tale.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell is about a girl who is stranded for years on an island off the California coast. Based on a true story.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is about a boy who is adopted by the denizens of the graveyard after his family is murdered.

This is a woodcut illustration depicting part of Homer's epic, the Odyssey, where Circe, an enchantress, turns most of Odysseus' crew into swine. The illustration itself is from a German translation of a collection of biographies of famous historical and mythological women called De Claris Mulieribus (meaning "Concerning Famous Women") written in 1361-1362.

The woodcut has been digitised by the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

"Woodcut illustration of Circe and Odysseus with men transformed into animals" by Provenance Online Project is marked with CC0 1.0