Loose sentence

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A loose sentence (also called a cumulative sentence) is a type of sentence in which the main idea (independent clause) is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases.

Construction[edit]

It adds modifying elements after the subject, complement, and verb.

Effect[edit]

Loose sentences may make a work seem informal, relaxed, and conversational. However, according to Strunk and White's The Elements of Style (2000), a succession of loose sentences, especially those of two clauses, is to be avoided because of "mechanical symmetry and sing-song".

Examples[edit]

  • He went into town to buy groceries, to visit his friends, and to go to the bookstore. (visit friends and go to bookstore independent variable)
  • "Bells rang, filling the air with their clangor, startling pigeons into flight from every belfry, bringing people into the streets to hear the news." (From the English Reviewer)
  • She drove her car to go to the movies, and got gas.
  • "I have been assured by a very knowing American friend of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nourished is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled; and I make no doubt it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout." Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal