46 ways to write 1 sentence in English!

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Making your sentences more interesting will make your English more authentic and engaging.


There are a number of techniques you can use to achieve this easily and that’s what we’re going to cover in this blog.






To begin, let’s come up with a simple sentence - that is, a sentence that has a subject and a verb.


So, a subject is a person or character, and a verb is a doing, or being word. It describes something we can do, or a state that we can feel like being bored, or excited.


Jo waited for the train.


Jo [is our subject] waited [is our verb,] for the train.




Technique 1 - add a preposition


Add a location to say where the action is taking place (this is called a preposition):


“At the station, Jo waited for the train”


“At the station [is our preposition], Jo [is our subject] waited [is our verb] for the train”.


We can change the mood of the sentence through our propositions.

Let’s build on this example:


  • At the edge of the platform [preposition], Jo[subject] waited [verb] for the train.” This adds a sense of tension - why is Jo waiting on the edge of the platform - is it because the train is about to arrive, or something more sinister?


  • In the city [preposition], Jo [subject] waited [verb] for the train.” This helps us to suggest (infer) that Jo is somewhere busy, and that there will be other people around. Maybe you imagined Jo waiting for the train in the daytime, or the evening, as cities are always busy.


Technique 2 - use an adverb


Add an adverb to your sentence, to give more detail about the action [verb] that is taking place.


Let’s build on our example to see how this can work:


“At the edge of the platform, Jo nervously waited for the train.”


“At the edge of the platform [preposition], Jo [subject] nervously[adverb] waited [verb] for the train.”


In the example above the adverb is next to the verb. We could also start a sentence with the adverb:


“Nervously, Jo waited at the edge of the platform for the train”


“Nervously [adverb], Jo [subject] waited [verb] at the edge of the platform for the train [preposition]”.


“At the edge of the platform [preposition], Jo waited for the train.” This adds a sense of tension - why is Jo waiting on the edge of the platform - is it because the train is about to arrive, or something more sinister? Why is she nervous?


Lots of adverbs end in ‘ly’. Other ‘ly’ adverbs that we could have used in this sentence are:


  • Anxiously, Jo waited for the train

  • Excitedly, Jo waited for the train

  • Angrily, Jo waited for the train

  • Dutifully, Jo waited for the train

  • Foolishly, Jo waited for the train

  • Happily, Jo waited for the train

  • Quietly, Jo waited for the train

  • Sadly, Jo waited for the train

  • Proudly, Jo waited for the train


Technique 3 - use a subordinating conjunction to start your sentence


Opening your sentence with a subordinating conjunction can really help to add context and richness to your English.


Subordinating conjunctions include specific words and you can remember these with the acronym I SAW A WABUB:


If she didn’t get there fast there would be trouble; Jo waited for the train

Since she had missed the bus, Jo waited for the train

As she had missed the bus, Jo waited for the train

When she was ready to go, Jo waited for the train

Although she didn’t want to, Jo waited for the train

While the others stayed out, Jo waited for the train

After the party, Jo waited for the train

Before anyone could stop her, Jo waited for the train

Until the announcement came through, Jo waited for the train

Because she needed to get there quickly, Jo waited for the train.


Technique 4 - Use a word ending in ‘ed’ in the opening of your sentence


Starting your sentence with a clause that contains a verb ending in ‘ed’ can tell us more about the characters actions.


Let’s look at our example again:


  • Excited, Jo waited for the train


  • Excited to be going home, Jo waited for the train


  • Having raced to the station, Jo waited for the train


  • After she’d begged for a ticket, Jo waited for the train


  • She jumped into a taxi, arrived at the station, and then Jo waited for the train.


Technique 5 - Open your sentence with a simile


A simile is where we compare one thing to another by using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’.


Similes can really help to paint a picture in the reader’s mind, about what is happening in your writing.

  • It was as boring as watching paint dry, but Jo waited for the train

  • As excited as a child on Christmas morning, Jo waited for the train

  • As cool as a cucumber, Jo waited for the train

  • As cunning as a fox, Jo waited for the train

  • As fresh as a daisy, Jo waited for the train

  • As free as a bird, Jo waited for the train

  • Like a lamb to the slaughter, Jo waited for the train

  • Like death warmed up, Jo waited for the train

  • Like a stubborn mule, Jo waited for the train


Technique 6 - Use a word ending in ‘ing’ in the opening of your sentence


Starting your sentence with a clause that contains a verb ending in ‘ing’ can also tell us more about the characters actions.


  • Making her way to work, Jo waited for the train

  • Reading her book, Jo waited for the train

  • Running on empty, Jo waited for the train

  • After jogging all the way, Jo waited for the train

  • Working it out in her own mind, Jo waited for the train

  • Cutting through the crowds, Jo waited for the train

  • Singing to herself, Jo waited for the train

  • Sitting on the bench, Jo waited for the train


Now, let’s try to make a SUPER SENTENCE by combining some of these techniques…



Squashed at the edge of the platform, like a sardine in a tin, Jo nervously waited for the train although she really didn’t want to.


Squashed [‘ed’ ending] at the edge of the platform [preposition] like a sardine in a tin [simile], Jo [subject] nervously [adverb] waited [verb] for the train, although she really didn’t want to [subordinating conjunction].


:-)


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