|The position of the words in a sentence is the principal means of showing their relationship.
The writer must therefore, so far as possible, bring together the words, and groups of words, that are related in thought, and keep apart those which are not so related.|
Rule: The subject of a sentence and the principal verb should not, as a rule, be separated by a phrase or clause that can be transferred to the beginning.
Wrong: Cast iron, when treated in a Bessemer converter, is changed into steel.
The objection is that the interposed phrase or clause needlessly interrupts the natural order of the main clause. This objection, however, does not usually hold when the order is interrupted only by a relative clause or by an expression in apposition. Nor does it hold in periodic sentences in which the interruption is a deliberately used means of creating suspense.
Rule: The relative pronoun should come, as a rule, immediately after its antecedent.
Wrong: He wrote three articles about his adventures in Spain, which were published in Harper’s Magazine.
Wrong: This is a portrait of Benjamin Harrison, grandson of William Henry Harrison, who became President in 1889.
Rule: If the antecedent consists of a group of words, the relative comes at the end of the group, unless this would cause ambiguity.
Wrong: The grandson of William Henry Harrison, who
Rule: A noun in apposition may come between antecedent and relative, because in such a combination no real ambiguity can arise.
Example: The Duke of York, his brother, who was regarded with hostility by the Whigs
Rule: Modifiers should come, if possible next to the word they modify. If several expressions modify the same word, they should be so arranged that no wrong relation is suggested.
Wrong: He only found two mistakes.
Wrong: Major R. E. Joyce will give a lecture on Tuesday evening in Bailey Hall, to which the public is invited, on “My Experiences in Mesopotamia” at eight P.M.
Directions: Write three example sentences for each of the rules listed above.