OPEN WITH AN ADJECTIVE

An adjective describes or points out a noun or pronoun. It tells what kind, what color, what number, which one, whose. Adjectives allow distinguishing and specification. They add descriptive details. They also limit or make more definite the meaning of a key word. Typically, adjectives immediately precede the words they modify; however, pulled away from those words and placed on the front of the sentence followed by a pausing comma, they gain emphasis.

EXAMPLES

1.  Breathless and weary, he trudged down the road.

2.  Fearful, the hunter fled through the jungle.

3.  Happy, Taylor announced her graduation from medical school.

4.  Verbose, Charles Dickens stretched his Great Expectations into 36 serialized segments.

5.  Cold, the football players stayed near the fire.

OPEN WITH AN ADJECTIVE PHRASE

Adjective phrases consist of adjectives and a group of words, often a prepositional phrase, without subject or verb. Adjective phrases serve the same function as adjectives: they modify nouns and pronouns. They also describe what kind, what color, what number, which one, and whose.

Adjective phrases consist of adjectives plus a group of words, often a prepositional phrase, without a subject and verb.

Adjective phrases serve the same function as adjectives: they modify nouns or pronouns. They also tell what kind, what color, how many, which one, whose.

Placed as a sentence opener, an adjective phrase ends with a comma.

EXAMPLES

1.  Exact in her portrayal of the Mexican-American, Cisneros educates the reading public about the anguish of the disenfranchised.

2.  Afloat with confidence, the team sprinted onto the court.

3.  Shocked at the news of Mr. Rochester’s demented wife, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield Hall.

4.  Confident when in possession of pencil and paper, she could write a paragraph at a moment’s notice.

5.  Passionate on the subject, he spoke for an hour.

OPEN WITH A VERB

Verbs supply action to a sentence. They make statements, ask questions or give commands.

Time Magazine, in every issue, makes frequent use of the verb as a sentence opener, particularly in recording conversation.

EXAMPLES

1.  Said she politely, “Good morning, Brother Snake.”

2.  Declaimed Marc Antony over Caesar’s body: “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”

3.  Says one White House aide: “In effect, Carter has to keep on campaigning.”

4.  Replied the senator, “I haven’t yet made up my mind about the legislation.”

5.  Answered Andy, “I didn’t hear you call me.”

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