Set III, 6

Sentence Combining Exercise 

Combine each of the following sets of base sentences in a single longer sentence. Write your combined version on a separate sheet for each set below. In some sets the words that must be removed have been crossed out and comma signals have been given; in others you will have to decide what words to omit and where to place commas. Consider the (AND) instruction optional. In some places where it appears you may want to do without the word and; in some places where the instruction doesn't appear you may want to include and. Let your ear be the guide in making these choices.

1. Battaglia glanced at first base. He went into his windup. (,) Then he threw a hanging curve that Ryan knocked out of the stadium. (, AND)

2. Parker's friends ate his food. They sprawled on his sofa. (,) They pretended to listen to what he said. (, AND)

3. The fire raced through the abandoned warehouse. The fire leveled it in an hour. (AND)

4. When Nicola didn't show up for their wedding, David walked down to the South Street Bridge. He climbed onto the railing. He made the last dive of his career. (, AND)

5. Their home-built sloop rode out a hurricane along the Atlantic coast. It glided through the narrow channel at Rocky Neck. Then, with the voyage all but complete, it sank in six feet of water.

6. Fred dashed into the room. He lunged at Knuckles. He missed. He fell in a heap in the corner.

7. They walked on. They were looking at the stars. They were talking. They were ignoring the deserted look the cottages wore. They were pretending not to see the cars that passed them.

8. He smiled a little to himself as he ran. He was holding the ball lightly in front of him with his two hands. (,) His knees were pumping high. (,) His hips were twisting in the almost girlish run of a back in a broken field. (,)

9. Darling trotted back. He was smiling. (,) He was breathing deeply but easily. (,) He was feeling wonderful. (,) He was not tired, though this was the tail end of practice and he'd run eighty yards.

10. Christian Darling, thirty-five years old, sat on the frail spring grass. The grass was greener now than it ever would be again on the practice field. (,) He looked thoughtfully up at the stadium. (,) The stadium was a deserted ruin in the twilight. (,)

11. She made believe she was going to quit work as soon as Darling found a job, even though she was taking over more responsibility day by day at the magazine. She was interviewing authors. (,) She was picking painters for the illustrations and covers. (,) She was getting actresses to pose for pictures. (,) She was going out for drinks with the right people. (,) She was making a thousand new friends whom she loyally introduced to Darling. (,)

12. He drank some whiskey straight. He went into the bathroom where his wife was lying deep in her bath. (AND) She was singing to herself. (,) She was smiling from time to time like a little girl. (AND) She was paddling the water gently with her hands. (,) She was sending up a slight spicy fragrance from the bath salts she used.

13. Darling laughed embarrassedly. He looked hard at them sitting there. (,) They were close to each other. (,) He shrugged. (,) He turned. (,) He went toward his hotel. (AND) The sweat was breaking out on his face. (,) It was running down into his collar. (AND)

14. She looked at him seriously for a moment. Then she scrambled around, like a little girl. She was kneeling on the seat next to him. She grabbed him. Her hands were along his ears. She kissed him as he sprawled, head back, on the seat cushion.

15. She knew everybody. She condescended to no one. She devoured books that Darling had never heard of. She walked along the streets of the city. She was excited. She was at home. She was soaking in all the million tides of New York without fear, with constant wonder.

16. He lay there for five minutes. He was looking at the ceiling. He was thinking of Flaherty. Flaherty would be walking down the street. Flaherty would be talking in that booming voice, between the girls. Flaherty would be holding their arms.

17. Darling half-closed his eyes. He almost saw the boy fifteen years ago reach for the pass. He saw the boy slip the halfback. He saw the boy go skittering lightly down the field. (AND) His knees were high and fast and graceful. He was smiling to himself because he knew he was going to get past the safety man.