Hi all,

I’m a primary school teacher and currently doing a piece of descriptive writing with my children using unusual portrait photography.

We’re working on creating a certain atmosphere within the writing and for this many of the children have been omitting auxiliary verbs from their sentences, I.E:

“Birds tweeting in the morning haze, a song of desperation and sorrow sweeping across the fields and streams.”

In a short burst piece of descriptive writing, written for the purpose of creating a specific effect of mystery and slight ambiguity without a specific tense, does this constitute a sentence?

Please help with some clarification on this!

Thanks in advance!

gray towel 327does this constitute a sentence?

No. Those are sentence fragments.

Whether you wish to accept such fragments or you wish to insist on complete sentences is your call when you make the assignment.

In any case, you might want to draw attention to the difference between the two kinds of constructions.


gray towel 327Please help with some clarification on this!

Poetic licence forgives errors of grammar, especially fragments.

I am reminded of the song "My favorite things", which has a 4 lines of noun phrases followed by a fifth line, which is a sentence.

My Favorite Things

by Julie Andrews

Raindrops on roses
Whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things.

Your example is very much in line with the first four lines of each stanza, except they don't have rhyme or rhythm.

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Thank you!

I’m trying to get them to understand how to create an atmosphere of ambiguity and mystery in their descriptions (which can at times be rather dull!).

Definitely a learning point I can now bring up as a consequence of these examples in their work!

Thanks again!

 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.
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