Varying the way you start sentences

Read the following part of a narrative text. Think about how you could improve this by starting the sentences in alternative ways.

“Come on son, we’re going to have a look at a new car!” shouted dad, before adding, “Wake up!” Feeling excited, because this was news to me, I jumped out of bed. The embarrassing dents and scratches on our old car made me hide my head in shame. The impatient and fidgety man that we met at the showroom was not very likeable.

Now – using the key below showing a list of different ways that the sentences have been altered highlight the text in the passage.

Key

Focus on character
Direct speech
Focus on place
Noun phrase
Non-finite verb
Fronted adverbial

“Come on son, we’re going to have a look at a new car!” shouted dad, before adding, “Wake up!” Feeling excited, because this was news to me, I jumped out of bed. The embarrassing dents and scratches on our old car made me hide my head in shame. The impatient and fidgety man that we met at the showroom was not very likeable.

“Come on son, we’re going to have a look at a new car!” shouted dad, before adding, “Wake up!” Feeling excited, because this was news to me, I jumped out of bed. The embarrassing dents and scratches on our old car made me hide my head in shame. The impatient and fidgety man that we met at the showroom was not very likeable.

Now, look at the following short extracts and improve the beginning of each sentence using some of these methods. Try and improve the structure of the rest of the sentence to fit in with your changes. The first one has been done for you.

Focus on character
Direct speech
Focus on place
Noun phrase
Non-finite verb
Fronted adverbial

We went to a new restaurant for my birthday. I was happy because my friends had already been there and I had nagged my parents for ages. I wanted a smart place with atmosphere to have a great night with my family. I had a problem with the waiter as soon as we sat down.

Example Answer

My sophisticated birthday treat was to be celebrated at a highly-recommended restaurant. Nagging my parents for ages had finally achieved the desired result. The atmosphere seemed very inviting and it looked as if we were going to have the great night out that I had planned. The expression on the face of the unfriendly waiter, however, made me wonder if this had all been a mistake.

Key

Focus on character
Direct speech
Focus on place
Noun phrase
Non-finite verb
Fronted adverbial