Cohesion Exercise: Building and Connecting Sentences

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

Children in park
"... if we gave little girls the six-shooters, we would soon have double the body count.". ArtMarie / Getty Images

This exercise will give you a chance to practice condensing and combining sentences using transitional words or phrases. Combine the sentences in each set into two clear sentences. Add a transitional word or phrase (from the lists in Cohesion Strategies: Transitional Words and Phrases) to the second sentence to show how it relates to the first. Here's an example:

  • Retirement should be the reward for a lifetime of work.
  • It is widely viewed as a sort of punishment.
  • It is a punishment for growing old.
  • Sample Combination:
    Retirement should be the reward for a lifetime of work. Instead, it is widely viewed as a sort of punishment for growing old.

If you run into problems while working on this exercise, review the following pages:

When you are done, compare your sentences with the sample combinations below.

Exercise: Building and Connecting Sentences with Transitional Words and Phrases

  1. To be self-centered does not mean to disregard the worth of other people.
    We are all self-centered.
    Most psychologists would probably accept this position.
  2. There are differences in math performance between boys and girls.
    These differences cannot be attributed simply to differences in innate ability.
    If one were to ask the children themselves, they would probably disagree.
  1. We do not seek solitude.
    If we find ourselves alone for once, we flick a switch.
    We invite the whole world in.
    The world comes in through the TV or Internet.
  2. Little girls, of course, don't take toy guns out of their hip pockets.
    They do not say "Pow, pow" to all their neighbors and friends.
    The average well-adjusted little boy does this.
    If we gave little girls the six-shooters, we would soon have double the body count.
  1. We know very little about pain.
    What we don't know makes it hurt all the more.
    There is ignorance about pain.
    No form of illiteracy in the United States is so widespread.
    No form of illiteracy in the United States is so costly.
  2. We drove the wagon close to a corner post.
    We twisted the end of the wire around it.
    We twisted the wire one foot above the ground.
    We stapled it fast.
    We drove along the line of posts.
    We drove for about 200 yards.
    We unreeled the wire on the ground behind us.
  3. The historical sciences have made us very conscious of our past.
    They have made us conscious of the world as a machine.
    The machine generates successive events out of foregoing ones.
    Some scholars tend to look totally backward.
    They look backward in their interpretation of the human future.
  4. Rewriting is something that most writers find they have to do.
    They rewrite to discover what they have to say.
    They rewrite to discover how to say it.
    There are a few writers who do little formal rewriting.
    They have capacity and experience.
    They create and review a large number of invisible drafts.
    They create and review in their minds.
    They do this before they approach the page.

When you are done, compare your sentences with the sample combinations below.

For an expanded version of this exercise, with prompts, see Cohesion Exercise: Combining and Connecting Sentences.

Sample Combinations

  1. To be self-centered does not mean to disregard the worth of other people. In fact, most psychologists would probably accept the position that we are all self-centered.
  2. The differences in math performance between boys and girls cannot be attributed simply to differences in innate ability. Still, if one were to ask the children themselves, they would probably disagree.
  3. We do not seek solitude. In fact, if we find ourselves alone for once we flick a switch and invite the whole world in through the TV or Internet.
  4. Little girls, of course, don't take toy guns out of their hip pockets and say "Pow, pow" to all their neighbors and friends like average well-adjusted little boys. However, if we gave little girls the six-shooters, we would soon have double the body count.
    (Anne Roiphe, "Confessions of a Female Chauvinist Sow")
  1. We know very little about pain and what we don't know makes it hurt all the more. Indeed, no form of illiteracy in the United States is so widespread or costly as ignorance about pain.
    (Norman Cousins, "Pain Is Not the Ultimate Enemy")
  2. We drove the wagon close to a corner post, twisted the end of the wire around it one foot above the ground, and stapled it fast. Next, we drove along the line of posts for about 200 yards, unreeling wire on the ground behind us.
    (John Fischer, "Barbed Wire")
  3. The historical sciences have made us very conscious of our past, and of the world as a machine generating successive events out of foregoing ones. For this reason, some scholars tend to look totally backward in their interpretation of the human future.
    (Loren EiseleyThe Unexpected Universe)
  4. Rewriting is something that most writers find they have to do to discover what they have to say and how to say it. There are, however, a few writers who do little formal rewriting because they have the capacity and experience to create and review a large number of invisible drafts in their minds before they approach the page.
    (Donald M. Murray, "The Maker's Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts")
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Nordquist, Richard. "Cohesion Exercise: Building and Connecting Sentences." ThoughtCo, Apr. 10, 2017, thoughtco.com/building-and-connecting-sentences-1690561. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, April 10). Cohesion Exercise: Building and Connecting Sentences. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/building-and-connecting-sentences-1690561 Nordquist, Richard. "Cohesion Exercise: Building and Connecting Sentences." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/building-and-connecting-sentences-1690561 (accessed May 23, 2018).