Author Topic: What is a Periodic Sentence?  (Read 165 times)

Offline heartsongjt

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  • A/K/A Jan (Sanford) Tetstone
What is a Periodic Sentence?
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:01:09 PM »
The Periodic Sentence

A sentence is  periodic when the completion of the main thought is delayed until the end. This delay creates a feeling of suspense.

A periodic sentence is doubly emphatic: it has emphasis by position because the important idea comes at the end; it has emphasis by subordination because all ideas except the last one are grammatically dependent.

To give emphasis to a loosely constructed sentence, turn it into periodic form.

Example:

Loose:  War means to have our pursuit of knowledge and happiness rudely broken off, to feel the sting of death and bereavement, to saddle future generations with a burden of debt and national hatred.

Periodic:  To have our pursuit of knowledge and happiness rudely broken off, to feel the sting of death and bereavement, to saddle future generations with a burden of debt and national hatred -- this is war.

Note--- A loose sentence is not necessarily bad.  Ordinary written discourse contains far more loose sentences than periodic.  A mingling of types is desirable for variety. 

Good Luck with your writing.

Jan
Words are Weapons of Demons and Saints