Notes

This printable supports Common Core ELA Standard ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.1.A, ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.2, ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.3

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Analyzing Long Sentences (Grades 11-12)

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Analyzing Long Sentences

1. 
“Once upon a time two or three weeks ago, a rather stubborn and determined middle-aged man decided to record for posterity, exactly as it happened, word by word and step by step, the story of another man for indeed what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal, a somewhat paranoiac fellow unmarried, unattached, and quite irresponsible, who had decided to lock himself in a room a furnished room with a private bath, cooking facilities, a bed, a table, and at least one chair, in New York City, for a year 365 days to be precise, to write the story of another person—a shy young man about of 19 years old—who, after the war the Second World War, had come to America the land of opportunities from France under the sponsorship of his uncle—a journalist, fluent in five languages—who himself had come to America from Europe Poland it seems, though this was not clearly established sometime during the war after a series of rather gruesome adventures, and who, at the end of the war, wrote to the father his cousin by marriage of the young man whom he considered as a nephew, curious to know if he the father and his family had survived the German occupation, and indeed was deeply saddened to learn, in a letter from the young man—a long and touching letter written in English, not by the young man, however, who did not know a damn word of English, but by a good friend of his who had studied English in school—that his parents both his father and mother and his two sisters one older and the other younger than he had been deported they were Jewish to a German concentration camp Auschwitz probably and never returned, no doubt having been exterminated deliberately X * X * X * X, and that, therefore, the young man who was now an orphan, a displaced person, who, during the war, had managed to escape deportation by working very hard on a farm in Southern France, would be happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to come to America that great country he had heard so much about and yet knew so little about to start a new life, possibly go to school, learn a trade, and become a good, loyal citizen.”

Use the passage above to answer the following questions:
A. 
The passage has the appearance of a run-on sentence. Is it a run-on sentence? Explain.



B. 
What is the first dash in the sentence used to do?



C. 
The first comma used in the passage is used to
  1. set off parenthetical elements.
  2. connect two independent clauses.
  3. set off an introductory element.
  4. separate elements in a series.
D. 
"...fluent in five languages—who himself had come to America from Europe Poland it seems, though this was not clearly established sometime during the war after a series of rather gruesome adventures, and who, at the end of the war, wrote to the father his cousin by marriage of the young man whom he considered as a nephew, curious to know if he the father and his family had survived the German occupation..."

The first comma in this excerpt is used to
  1. set off a parenthetical element.
  2. separate elements in a series.
  3. set off an introductory element.
  4. connect two independent clauses.
E. 
"...and indeed was deeply saddened to learn, in a letter from the young man—a long and touching letter written in English, not by the young man, however, who did not know a damn word of English, but by a good friend of his who had studied English in school—that his parents both his father and mother and his two sisters one older and the other younger than he had been deported they were Jewish to a German concentration camp Auschwitz probably and never returned, no doubt having been exterminated deliberately X * X * X * X, and that..."

In this excerpt, how are the dashes used?



2. 
Use the following passage from the beginning of "A Tale of Two Cities" to answer the following questions:

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
A. 
How does capitalizing the words Light and Darkness change their meaning?



B. 
Scholars have disagreed about whether this opening of "A Tale of Two Cities" forms a grammatically correct sentence. Does it appear to be a complete sentence to you? Explain.



C. 
How does Dickens use abstract nouns in this opening passage?



D. 
Which strategy that Dickens uses has the most dramatic effect in this opening passage?
  1. Comma usage
  2. Parallel structure
  3. Past tense
  4. Superlative adjectives and adverbs
E. 
You've been tasked with writing an autobiography.
Write an introduction modeled after Dickens' opening of "A Tale of Two Cities"



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