How to Emphasize a Sentence?

If you need to emphasize a specific fact or point in your text, there are several ways to focus the reader’s attention on it.

Position of words: by placing an introductory word at the beginning of a sentence, the writer makes the reader pay attention to that word; the reader is then alert for the rest of the sentence.

The farmer wearily pushed the wheelbarrow.
Wearily, the farmer pushed the wheelbarrow.

Active Voice: the active voice (where the subject performs the action rather than receiving it) is more forceful than the passive voice, so the reader will pay attention. This is particularly effective if you want to come across as authoritative in your text.

The computer was broken by Matt. (passive voice)
Matt broke the computer. (active voice)

Repetition: just as your mother got you to clean your room by asking you repeatedly, you can get your reader’s attention by repeating words (adjectives and adverbs, usually) within the sentence. You can also use synonyms to reinforce a thought or idea. Just be careful you don’t overdo it.

The room was very, very large.
It was a massively large room.

Very Short Sentences: a sentence only requires a subject and a verb. Using such a pared-down sentence will always grab the reader’s attention and leave little room for discussion. It’s best used after a relatively long sentence.

Am I going to throw my whole life away by studying the fine arts rather than something more dependable like business? I am.
After several lengthy meetings, the board of directors decided the budget was possibly unbalanced. They were right.

Interrogative or Exclamatory Sentences: this is an informal way of getting the reader to pay attention. It’s not recommended for formal writing.

The funds should not be transferred into a private account!
What the heck were you thinking when you baked a sugar pie for a diabetics’ potluck dinner?

The post How to Emphasize a Sentence? appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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