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Varying Sentence Openers


Each item below begins with a sentence model from literature that has an interesting sentence opener. Combine the sentences that follow into a single sentence that matches the structure of the literature model. You may omit words or change their forms as you combine sentence parts.

Conscience-stricken, Leo rose and brewed the tea.
Bernard Malamud, "The Magic Barrel"
  • Beth was satisfied.
  • Beth pushed her chair back from the dinner table and excused herself.
Fumbling with both hands, he once more stuck the knife into the sheath.
Isak Dinesen, "The Ring"
  • The members of the band sounded as good as ever.
  • They were playing together for the first time in years.
In his room, he plays his guitar.
John Updike, "Son"
  • Nate paints watercolors.
  • He paints them in his mother's studio.
Creaking, jerking, jostling, gasping, the train filled the station.
Nadine Gordimer, "The Train from Rhodesia"
  • The tractor pushed against the heavy log.
  • The tractor was grinding, growling, whistling, and hiccuping.
Eyes narrowing, he thought for a few moments about what to do.
Jack Finney, "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket"
  • The yacht headed out to open sea.
  • Sails were billowing.
Gaunt, bruised, and shaken, he stumbled back to his village.
Lame Deer, "The Vision Quest"
  • The dog was well-fed, energetic, and happy.
  • The dog headed outside to play.
Frightened, everyone in the village fled into the canes.
Paule Marshall, "To Da-duh, in Memoriam"
  • The bull was angered.
  • The bull charged the matador.
The staircase window having been boarded up, no light came down into the hall.
Elizabeth Bowen, "The Demon Lover"
  • The bicycle tire had been punctured.
  • Jasmine had to walk the bicycle home.
Patient, cold, and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats.
Dylan Thomas, "A Child's Christmas in Wales"
  • The producer accepted the Oscar for best picture.
  • She was wide-eyed, joyful, and proud.
  • Her head was lifted high.
Slowly, taking my time, I began the final ascent.
Arthur C. Clarke, "The Sentinel"
  • Leo ran toward the goal line.
  • He ran swiftly.
  • He was holding the football firmly in his arms.
For the first time since my arrival, I was very nearly home.
Maya Angelou, All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes
  • Polly was ready to run a five-minute mile.
  • She was ready for more than a month.