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Sentence Structure Discussion 3.

Please also read:

Sentence Structure Discussion 1 and Discussion 2.

I just read the following sentence on The Wire, a famous Indian news portal. Let us try to understand its various elements.

Sometime before dawn on May 7, a toxic gas leaked from the storage unit of a plastics-manufacturing plant in Visakhapatnam, quickly rendering people around the plant unconscious.

It contains THREE main parts – an introductory part, the main sentence, and a modifier. Let us identify them with different colors.

Sometime before dawn on May 7, a toxic gas leaked from the storage unit of a plastics-manufacturing plant in Visakhapatnam, quickly rendering people around the plant unconscious.

Note that the three parts of the sentences are separated from each other through a comma. While the introducer is used to set a context for the sentence, the modifier gives additional information about A TOXIC GAS.

Please note that the modifier does not modify VISAKHAPATNAM even tough it is placed next to it. A modifier has the ability to borrow a subject from the beginning of the main sentence. A reader’s job is to link it with the right noun which is either placed at the beginning of the sentence or just next to the modifier.

In this case, there can be only three sentence structure combinations:

  • Introducer, main sentence, modifier. (As shown above)
  • Introducer, modifier, main sentence.

“Sometime before dawn on May 7, quickly rendering people around the plant unconscious, a toxic gas leaked from the storage unit of a plastics-manufacturing plant in Visakhapatnam.”

  • 3. Introduce, main sentence’s subject, modifier, main sentence

“Sometime before dawn on May 7, a toxic gas, quickly rendering people around the plant unconscious, leaked from the storage unit of a plastics-manufacturing plant in Visakhapatnam.”

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