- The marking criteria for English include the following statements:
At Grade ‘D’ you need to use some variety of sentence structures to achieve effects.
At Grade ‘C’ you must use a range of sentence structures to create effects.
The mark scheme for writing in the exams says that in the B/C band, the candidate is expected to ‘use sentence forms for effect’, and at the A*/A band to ‘use full range of appropriate sentence structures.”
You can usefully focus on sentence structures in the light of:
- clause mobility around the main verb. eg. ‘With his eyes fixed on the leopard, he moved slowly back to the tree.’ / ‘He moved slowly back to the tree, his eyes fixrd on the leopard.’ / ‘He moved slowly, his eyes fixed on the leopard, back to the tree.’ / ‘With his eyes fixed on the leopard, back to the tree, slowly, he moved.’
- varying the sentence structure from subject/verb/object to verb/object/subject or object/subject/verb. ‘Reclining on the Axminster was the feline.’ or ‘On the Axminster reclined the feline.’ [Note the vocabulary choices there: a feline is a cat; Axminster is a type of carpet. These sentences are designed to show how in both sentence structure and vocabulary, students are expected to go well beyond the obvious: ‘The cat sat on the mat.’]
- reproducing mood and movement in sentence forms. eg. ‘ It was there. It was there in front of him, in the dark. It was there in front of him, in the dark and clearly angry.’ or ‘With an effortless pull of the rope, a looping around the stump, a quick knot and a swift covering with the branch, the boat was secure and out of sight.’
- developing subordination within sentences rather than relying on co-ordination. eg. compare ‘I got up early this morning and felt good about the day’ with ‘Feeling good about the day, I got up early this morning’ or ‘Despite the fact that I got up early this morning, I felt good about the day.’ Similarly, ‘I disagree with you and think you should go now’ compared with ‘ Although I disagree with you, I think you should go now.”