In contrast from my previous post on transitions that herald new information, this spoonful is all about transitions that signal contrast. Is it any surprise that the first transition expression in this category is in contrast? Read on for more!
Here is a listing of transition words included in this category: in contrast, but, however, despite, in spite of, nonetheless, nevertheless, although, though, yet, unlike, rather than, other than, besides, instead of, conversely, contrary to, whereas, and except. And now for some examples.
Janet loves cats but can't tolerate the smell of kitty litter.
I would participate in Saturday's event; however, I need to work.
Most of the children wore the school colors of blue and white to the concert. In contrast, Maryellen wore purple polka-dotted tights and a fuchsia top.
All members have replied by the deadline except for you know who.
In spite of his nasty cold, Timothy marched with band.
Rather than quit the tennis team after losing the match, Meredith vowed to work even harder.
Sometimes I feel like I'm running out of topics, yet new ones always pop into my head.
I heard your argument. Nevertheless, I haven't changed my mind.
Kevin is always clean and polished, unlike Sam who is always covered in dirt.
Other than one day in May, Barry has been consistently tardy.
Though Carol practiced every day, she didn't make the team.
I think that's enough examples for now. Conversely, would you like more? You got it!
Whereas Bob claims he doesn't like sweets, I catch him sneaking candy bars every day.
Contary to most students in her class, Anna isn't afraid to raise her hand and share her opinions.
You can often substitute words within this category. Try switching although for though, besides for other than, and nonetheless for nevertheless. You can make other substitutions with minor tweaks to your sentences. I hope you enjoyed this spoonful. Next week, I'll tackle transitions that introduce results. Have a great week!
Life is punctuated by major transitions: from diapers to big kid undies, from high school to college, and from college to job or grad school! But transitions aren't always so dramatic.
In writing, they smooth the path from one paragraph to the next or ensure that new information is viewed in the proper light. Sometimes, as the SAT proves, it can difficult to figure out the proper transition word to use for each case. In keeping with my "one spoonful at a time" philosophy, each transition category will have its own post. First up...
TRANSITIONS THAT ADD NEW INFORMATION:
also, and, another, besides, further, furthermore, in addition, additionally, moreover, too, as well, plus
Many lists place more transition words in this particular category. One such word is alternatively. To me, however, that word belongs in a different category: transition words that show contrast. (Ooh...does that sound like the next spoonful?!) Until then, I wish you all a wonderful week.
Laura Fineberg Cooper
A Spoonful of Grammar
QUIZ: Read the following excerpt from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:
"that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
The underlined portions exhibit which of the following:
If you chose 2) PARALLELISM, congratulations! You are correct! Each of those underlined phrases are three words in length, end with "the people," and begin with prepositions. You can't get much more parallel than that! And that's just one example of PARALLELISM that Lincoln used in the world's most famous persuasive speech. I reckon that's a large part of the reason the Gettsyburg Address is still popular today.
You should aim to achieve PARALLELISM when your sentence contains a series of items - like we discussed with AND in Spoonful #11. The goal is to make sure all items in a series are listed in the same form. With AND's permission, let's go ahead and explain why her sentences are great PARALLELISM examples.
1) Mary's favorite colors are purple, yellow, and blue.
WHY? Because all the items in this series are NOUNS.
2) Jeremy enjoyed skiing, skating, and swimming.
WHY? Because all the items in this series are GERUNDS (these are VERBS that masquerade as NOUNS. The "ing" in each one is a hint.)
SAT TIP: In the SAT Writing Section, one of the common errors is a series that mixes GERUNDS with VERBS in the INFINITIVE (TO) form.
Here's an example: Jeremy enjoyed skiing, skating, and to swim.
Don't be fooled by this violation of the PARALLELISM rule!
3) I looked under the bed, inside my closet, and on my dresser, but my book is still missing.
WHY? Because all the items in this series are PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES with three words each. Those are phrases that start with PREPOSITIONS (under, inside, on.)
4) Honor Society requirements include earning stellar grades, displaying good conduct, and performing community service.
WHY? Because all the items in this series are GERUND PHRASES with three words each. Those are phrases that start with GERUNDS(earning, displaying, performing.)
Repetition in picture books is another type of PARALLELISM, and one that I'm especially fond of. And trust me on this last point: the SAT loves PARALLELISM!
I hope you enjoyed this spoonful. In #13, I will return to comma rules.
Laura Fineberg Cooper
IT'S A MATCH!
Subjects and verbs of the world unite!
In each sentence, SUBJECTS are bold and matching VERBS are red.
SPECIAL NOTE: Subject-verb mis-matches are commonly found in the SAT Writing section!!
Thanks for reading this spoonful. Until next time...
Laura Fineberg Cooper
SUBJECT has many definitions. Here are just two:
In grammar, SUBJECT refers to the main topic or focus of every sentence. Its most important role is to instruct the VERB. If the SUBJECT is SINGULAR, the VERB must be SINGULAR. If the SUBJECT is PLURAL, the VERB must be PLURAL. This relationship is known as SUBJECT-VERB MATCHING. Sounds easy peasy? It's not, especially as sentences become increasingly complex. But don't fret: I'll cover this SUBJECT one spoonful at a time.
In order to properly match SUBJECTS and VERBS, the first step is to determine whether the SUBJECT is SINGULAR or PLURAL.
SINGULAR SUBJECTS with explanations:
PLURAL SUBJECTS with explanations:
Special Note: English grammar has exceptions to every rule. If you order a peanut butter AND jelly sandwich, you'll get ONE sandwich.
I hope you enjoyed this spoonful! Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or share this with your friends.
Laura Fineberg Cooper