Sentence Style and Clarity Practice (page 2)
The study guide for these practice exercises can be found at: Sentence Style and Clarity Help
Sentence Style and Clarity Practice
Written Practice 1
Rewrite the each of the following sentences by using active verbs. The first one is done for you.
- This was the first year that a profit was realized by us.
- Their approach was to play their strongest people at the beginning of the game.
- It is necessary to take a shopping list with you.
- Building your speed on the treadmill is the next step.
- The electric pen should be used to sign the documents.
Written Practice 2
Rewrite each of the following sentences, using active verbs.
- The price of gas was raised for the second time this week by that gas station.
- A litter of puppies was born recently from which Amelia can choose a pet.
- The spring flowers are blooming that I planted last month.
- It is believed by many people that global warming will eventually affect everyone.
- Weaknesses were detected by the new automotive equipment.
- A favorite Christmas movie is seen by our family every year.
- Many dogs and cats are offered for adoption by that agency.
- A tall fence will be placed between the Corbett and Balise properties.
- Radar is used by meteorologists to forecast weather.
- New sheets and blankets are needed for all the beds in the house.
Written Practice 3
Rewrite each of the following sentences. In each sentence, place the important idea at the end.
- How can I prepare for the future in a depressed economic climate?
- Before the banks close, let's make a deposit.
- You should file a police report if you are in a collision.
- Improving style and clarity in your sentences is something you need to look at.
- Sit down and reread your essay after you take time to think about other things for a while.
- While your creativity is flowing, the first draft is an opportunity to put your words on paper.
- Each department should review our joint goals after the first of the year.
- The likelihood of growing food locally remains the important topic of the day.
- The need for better art supplies in the middle school exists.
- We have stopped using that truck company because of the delays we experienced.
Written Practice 4
Rewrite each of the following sentences by uncovering the smothered verbs. The first one is done for you.
- I will send an invitation to all your friends.
- When you reach a decision, let me be the first to know.
- Do I always have to give a justification for my actions?
- A long time ago, I reached a conclusion that I can't please everyone all the time.
- We can do an inspection of the house before we move in.
- We shouldn't move on until we form a plan for the future.
- Don't give an answer unless you are absolutely sure how you feel.
- I give an apology anytime I offend someone.
- Your father holds the opinion that you shouldn't drive unless your grades improve. (Note: Find a different word for opinion.)
- I'll help you clean up when you reach the end of the project.
Written Practice 5
Read the following paragraph. Rewrite any sentences that seem cumbersome. Change passive verbs to active verbs, reveal hidden subjects and hidden verbs, and place important information last in sentences.
This advancement in science is hard to believe unless you see it in action. Thanks to the new Brain Computer Interface, people who are completely paralyzed due to illness or trauma will get help in the future. By connecting patients' brains to a computer, scientists can help these patients make a communication with others and even use their paralyzed limbs. Scientists have done an experiment with several people. It can be done but teaching a patient to move a cursor with his or her mind is neither fast nor fluid.
Written Practice 6
Rewrite the sentences to correct the pronoun reference errors. The first one is done for you.
- Don't give new uniforms to employees until they have name tags.
- Myrna told Jodi she had a terrible cold and shouldn't go to the PTA meeting.
- Our new water tank holds 20 percent less than our old one. It cost 30 percent more, though.
- My daughter wrote a report and studied for a spelling test. It was a long one.
- The chart at the end of the magazine article was included in its original form.
Written Practice 7
Make the pronoun references clear in the following sentences.
- My neighbor frequently buys my family food because they are so kind.
- I hammered the nail into the picture hook, and now it is crooked.
- Both Gloria and Priscilla played with her children.
- The turkey platter was empty, but we were tired of eating it anyway.
- The principal was speaking to Jason, and he looked unhappy.
- Although Robin likes working at the cake shop, she never eats them herself.
- Although the car smashed into the tree, it was not damaged.
- After interviewing several teachers, I realized that it was not for me.
- I went to see my father and my grandfather, who told me his latest health problem.
- White and Smith made his presentation.
Written Practice 8
Clarify the following sentences by placing descriptive phrases where they belong.
- The man in his desk found his glasses.
- The student hung on the wall of her room a picture of a favorite music group.
- The horse belongs to that rider with the brown spots.
- The teacher posted the notes for the students covered in class.
- My old car has driven 100,000 miles in the driveway.
Written Practice 9
Read the paragraph. Correct any unclear pronoun references, and place the descriptive words correctly. One sentence is correct as written.
When you take your child to the doctor because he is coughing and sneezing, with asthma type symptoms, do you really know what's wrong? Up to now, doctors have depended upon physical exams, symptoms, and the child's history to explain the illness in the office visit. Doctors prescribe antibiotics using their best judgments, but often they don't cure the child because the ailment as far as the cause of it is concerned cannot be pinpointed. Now, however, there is a new test, which gives hope of understanding viruses associated with asthma attacks using the Virochip, A new study has found an unexpected number of viruses and viral subtypes led by University of California–San Francisco scientists in patients with respiratory tract infections (RTIs). The technique used in the study may help identify new viruses associated with human diseases and lead to specific strategies for treatment and prevention.
Written Practice 10
On the lines provided, write a matching expression that eliminates the extra words from the original expression. The first one is done for you.
- repeat again repeat
- refer back __________
- true facts __________
- active consideration __________
- present status __________
- entirely complete __________
- past history __________
- midway between __________
- in ten years from now __________
- at that time __________
Written Practice 11
Simplify each of the following sentences by eliminating unnecessary words.
- Juana's mother she agreed to bake for her granddaughter's birthday party.
- Mickey thought the staging of that play was quite imaginative.
- At this point in time, we need to consider a significant budget cut.
- My reason for looking for a job is that I heard the company I work for is downsizing.
- The department head she said, "We're not giving any bonuses at this time."
Written Practice 12
Delete repetitions and overqualifications in the following sentences.
- Your schedule is completely full, so you won't be going out for lunch.
- My reason for not returning the book to the library is that I hadn't finished it.
- We were perfectly happy not to leave the house on a rainy day.
- Upon further reflection, I've decided to adopt a kitten from the local animal shelter.
- At this point in time, a vacation is out of the question.
- As of that time, we still had our out-of-date computers.
- Midway between my house and yours there's a beautiful park.
- My car it has 80,000 miles on its odometer.
- Before you offer your opinion, at least get the true facts.
- We're looking for a new retail facility.
Written Practice 13
In each of the following sentences, look for unnecessary words and illogical statements. Make changes as necessary.
- The carriage tour on the carriage around Charleston was fascinating.
- The reason I enjoyed the ride was because I love historical architecture.
- The carriage driver, he was full of intriguing stories.
- The highlight of the tour was when we saw the outdoor crafts market.
- Despite the wonderful tour, I signed up for another one for next year.
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