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Writing Effective Sentences



        Unit 1
  Lesson 2 Simple sentences with
     phrases (and action verbs)
After completing this lesson, you should be able
• identify prepositional phrases in a simple
• identify participial phrases in a simple
• identify infinitive phrases in a simple sentence
   2A The prepositional phrase
• A group of two or more related words that do
  not contain a subject/verb combination is
  known as a phrase. Phrases are classified into
  three major types: prepositional, participial,
  and infinitive.
  Prepositional phrases begin with a
  prepositional and typically end with a noun or
  pronoun. The preposition connects its object
  (the noun or pronoun) to some other part of the
  The most commonly used prepositions are
  shown below:

about   around    by       in    over     under

after   at        during   of    through upon

against before    for      on    to       with

among   between   from     out   toward   within
The prepositional phrases in these simple
sentences are enclosed in parentheses:
Most (of the members) completed their
duties (before noon.)
(In the morning) we drove the truck (to Los
The driver spent (over ten hours) (behind
the wheel) (of his car.)
Application 2-1
•   Place parentheses around the prepositional
    phrases in these sentences.
1. Their family has lived here for many
2. All of our members paid their dues on
3. Within a few minutes the plane arrived at
   the gate.
4. We recognized her voice on the telephone.
5. The police directed everyone to the side of
   the street.
6. They left under orders from the governor.
7. Through the years the society prospered
   under her leadership.
8. Her mother looked for them among the
   trees behind the hill.
9. Within a few minutes the ground was
   soaked form the rain.

10. President Larson spoke against the
    measure in the afternoon.
     2B The participial phrase
• Participles are special verb forms. Present
  participles end in ing; past participles generally
  have the same ending as the past tense of the
  verb (in many cases, ed). Participial phrases
  begin with a participle and end with an object
  or with a modifier. Examples follow:
That car (standing there) costs a great deal.
(Walking quietly,) they avoided (being
(Amazed (by the judge’s decision,) the
lawyer turned around.
As shown in the third example sentence above,
a phrase ix sometimes included within another
phrase. In this case, a prepositional phrase is
included in a participial phrase.
Application 2-2
•   Place parentheses around the participial
    phrases in sentence 1-5.
1. Those people applying late were turned
2. Beginning tomorrow, deliveries will be
   made on Tuesdays.
3. All buildings requiring paint are located in
   the north part of town.
4. Needed immediately, she wasted no time
   getting there.
5. We ate every hamburger served on a
   fresh bun.
      2C The infinitive phrase
• Infinitives are special verb forms that usually
  consist of the word “to” followed by a verb.
  Infinitive phrases begin with an infinitive and
  end with an object or a modifier.
  Examples of infinitive phrases in simple
  sentences follow:
Our new supervisor asked each person (to
bring a notebook.)
(To complete the job,) we were required
(to work long hours.)
The usher told us (to enter quietly.)
He reminded us (to ask (for directions.)
Application 2-3
•   Place parentheses around the infinitive
    phrases in the following sentences.
1. Everyone expected to receive the
   shipment before Friday.
2. I asked them to writer legibly.
3. We tried to stop the car in time to avoid
   the accident.

4. To get to the stage, we had to enter
   through the side door.

5. Ms. Baker was instructed to begin the
   meeting at two o’clock.

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