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Sentence structure

Good sentence structure can aid clarity and flow in writing. The choices you make as you construct sentences can impact the reader.

As Halliday and Hasan (1970: 2) state in their seminal book on Cohesion in English:

"A text does not CONSIST of sentences; it is REALIZED BY, or encoded in, sentences."

It is therefore very important to study this section on sentence structure alongside the section on text flow: coherence and cohesion ; you will find much that overlaps in these two sections of the guide.

In this section, read about:

Sentence length

Combining information and ideas in longer sentences

Relative clauses

Fixed sentence patterns

Parallel structures

How to fix common sentence problems

We try not to use too much technical terminology in this guide, but sometimes it is necessary to use particular grammatical terms. You may find these links useful:

Glossary of grammatical terminology

Basic terminology for describing sentences


Halliday, M. and Hasan, R. (1976) Cohesion in English. Pearson Education.