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Sentence De - Combining -- Compound Finite Verbs (Ex # 1)
Based on Sentences from
Stories of Robin Hood Told to the Children, 
by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall

     Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, the founders of developmental cognitive psychology, both suggest that mastery of a concept involves the ability to undo a mental process. The undoing of sentence-combining is de-combining. Thus most sentence combining exercises in KISS are paired with a de-combining exercise.

Notes

See the discussion of de-combining in the description of KISS exercises.

     I have noted below my own sense of the result of decombining, but there is no "right" answer for these exercises. Thus the important point is to have students discuss their impressions of the effect of the decombination. Note that it is almost impossible to discuss these effects without simultaneously discussing the effects of the original compounding..



1. Robin and Marian lived together for a long, long time, and were very, very happy.
Robin and Marian lived together for a long, long time. And they were very, very happy.
[In this case, the separate sentences are primarily a matter of shorter sentence length, but it does seem to me that separating the last verb pattern into its own sentence gives it more emphasis.]
2. After dinner he took Robin by the arm and led him aside.
After dinner he took Robin by the arm. He led him aside.
[Whereas the compound here suggests that the taking and leading are one inseparable act, separating the verb phrases may suggest that the leading followed the taking.]
3. With great difficulty he put his bugle-horn to his mouth, and blew three faint blasts.
With great difficulty he put his bugle-horn to his mouth. He blew three faint blasts.
[The separation here is more interesting in that, in the compound, the "With great difficulty" phrase tends to apply to both "put" and "blew." With the verbs in separate sentences, that phrase no longer literally modifies "blew." "Faint" still suggests the possibility of difficulty, but the connection in not as clear and strong.]
4. At the mention of money the Sheriff turned quite pale and clutched hold of his bags.
At the mention of money the Sheriff turned quite pale.  He clutched hold of his bags.
[See # 1.]
5. One day he dressed himself up as a Norman knight, pulled his visor over his face, and went out into the forest in search of an adventure.
One day he dressed himself up as a Norman knight. He pulled his visor over his face. And he went out into the forest in search of an adventure.
[The double repetition of "he" as the subject makes this version sound less mature.]