Building a Backyard Sentence of Your Own

Building a sentence of your own is much easier than it seems. All you need are some simple tools and assembly guidelines. In no time at all you can have yourself a fine, sturdy sentence that will give you years of use and enjoyment.

First, the tools. Believe it or not, you can construct a perfectly solid sentence with no more than a pencil and paper. If you really want to get fancy you can opt for a cheap ball-point pen.

Now, the materials. Virtually all the materials you'll need for your homemade sentence can be found at your local hardware store. The larger, chain-type hardware stores will have everything all strewn out along an aisle or two. Your mom-and-pop hardware stores will have everything you need behind the main counter.

But before you jump into your station wagon, there are some preliminaries to take care of. Sit down and take a minute to think about the type of sentence you want to build. As with any construction project, the planning stage just can't be skipped.

Consider, for instance, the uses you'll have for your sentence. If your sentence will be used mostly by children, make sure that your sentence's nouns and verbs aren't too high for them to reach. Also, watch out that your sentence doesn't have any lengthy adjectives for the young one's to trip over.

Now that you have a good idea of the type of sentence you want to build, roll up your sleeves and head-on out to the hardware store. With a good plan in mind, you'll be able to assemble a fine sentence in a snap.

The first thing you'll need to get is a good solid noun. Nouns are usually found right over there by the lumber. Large hardware stores will have a gigantic stack of nouns piled up out back.

Take your time to find yourself a real solid looking noun. Be sure to look at the noun from different angles. If the noun looks warped, throw it back.

When you have found a noun that looks about right, sit down and take a closer look at the fine texture of the noun. Ask yourself whether the grain of the noun is all pointing in the right direction. Check to see if the noun has any knots or imperfections. Choosing the right noun can make a big difference in how your finished sentence turns out.

Once you find a noun that suits your purposes, then look for an appropriate verb to go with it. Verbs come in all shapes and sizes. Find one hat matches the color and feel of your noun. Stay away from ornate looking verbs. Many a sentence has collapsed upon an ornate verb.

With your noun and verb firmly in hand, you're almost half-way there. Mosey on over to the paint department to pick up some adjectives and adverbs. Two or three well chosen adjectives will add color and atmosphere to an otherwise drab looking sentence. Select an adverb or two to give your homemade sentence that professional look.

Finally, you'll want to pick up some articles, indefinite pronouns, and the like. You'll find these over by the nuts and bolts. Slap a couple of these on either side of your other materials. Now you can step back and admire your very own homemade sentence. Far better than those store bought ones, don't you think?

Phil Shapiro

Copyright 1995

(This essay may be freely redistributed and reprinted for any nonprofit educational purpose. Use by a for-profit company requires permission from the author, who can be reached at:

Return to miscellaneous writings menu.