English Writing - Syntax and Metaphors

Syntax, put simply, is the grammatical arrangement of each element of a sentence. It's main concern is ensuring the coherence of your subject, verb and object, as well as the relationships that tie them together. Involving a logical sequence, it's the framework from which you build sentences correctly.

Language Without Syntax

Each word we use in our language has a meaning. A combination of words is a sentence. When we string words together to form a sentence, the goal is for the complete statement to relay a specific message. How these words are arranged and presented is usually dictated by syntax. The reader, who looks at these arranged words, uses syntax to determine what it means as well.

Without the structure of a syntax, there is no point in putting words together to form a sentence - they would not make any sense anyway.

Catching Syntax Errors

When you read a sentence and it doesn't make any sense, it's usually a syntax problem. Try running it through a grammar software and check the suggested rewrites. Chances are, one of those will actually point you in the right direction.

We usually pick up on the basic English syntax constructs just from repeated use. However, when composing more complex sentences and statements, it isn't unusual to commit writing mistakes that can leave our copy muddled and confused. Using English writing software, syntax problems are usually easily caught, with often-accurate suggestions how it can best be revised (even with long and complicated sentences).

Is your writing too drab? Do you think your copy needs some spice? Is your straightforward statement of facts unable to relay what you are trying to communicate? You might want to consider using metaphors to tune your writing into shape.

Metaphors are figures of speech that applies a noun or a phrase to an object or action, in order to imply a resemblance. Done well, they can improve a statement's clarity as well as engage the reader's imagination. The following are examples of metaphors:

"His hand was colder than a sheet of ice."
"Her handwriting was more cryptic than a doctor's prescription."
"That show was funnier than Seinfeld on steroids."

It is important to note that metaphors are different from similes. While they both express a resemblance between two things, a simile does it in a direct way, usually introduced by "as" or "like." The above metaphors, for instance, can be expressed as a simile the following way:

"His hand was as cold as a sheet of ice."
"Her handwriting was cryptic, just like a doctor's prescription."
"That show was as funny as Seinfeld on steroids."

You can use both to spice up your writing. Typically, good writers tend to use both types of adornment to introduce variety in their copy.

As a precaution, make sure you use metaphors appropriately. Using the wrong metaphor will not only make your copy confusing, but also make it look severely amateurish. Many all-in-one English software can handle common metaphors and determine their appropriateness, so make sure you employ them as a way to ensure you're applying things correctly.

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