Answer 9

Question 9   Which of these sentences is periodic, which balanced and which loose?

a) All the way along the coast and through the tunnel Jo felt sick.

b) His father opened a window and his mother passed him a cool cloth.

c) Once they came out of the tunnel Jo felt much better and his father closed the window to stop the violent draft which was also troubling his wife who always fussed about her hair.


a) Periodic – the main verb (felt) is reached towards the end of the sentence.

b) Balanced – the two main verbs (opened and passed) are in balanced positions.

c) Loose – The verbs (came, felt, closed, was troubling and fussed) are not organised to achieve any clear purpose.

What is the importance of this way of analysing a sentence?

Unlike the analysis involved in Question 8, which looks at the mechanics of a sentence’s construction, this way of analysing a sentence is intended to show how the writer achieves effects simply by the placing of the verbs.

If you can speak English then you can understand English.
If you understand English then you will use it more effectively.

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