Analyzing Sentences by Rephrasing

Sentence Rephrasing (also called paraphrasing)

 

1.     When a long sentence contains other grammatical structures, its meaning may still be difficult to grasp. In this case, you can break up this long sentence into several shorter sentences that cover everything the author is trying to say.

2.     Essentially, you change each separate phrase and clause in the original sentence into a sentence of its own.

3.     The key to rephrasing is in the verb in a phrase or clause. Frequently, 意義上的動詞is already there and what you need to do is adding the subject and/or 文法上的動詞。Sometimes you need to add both the subject and main verb.

 

Rephrasing Dependent Clauses

 

1.     As pointed out in the previous notes, there are mainly two types of dependent clauses: those that start with relative pronouns and those that start with conjunctions.

2.     Consider the first case. A pronoun almost always refers to something, usually a noun, that appears earlier in the sentence. If the relative pronoun is in subjective form (主格), then replace the relative pronoun with the noun as the subject of the clause. If not, the dependent clause already has a subject.
Example. a program that detects and removes the new virus
è A program (=that) detects and removes the new virus.
Example. a boy whom I met last week
è I met the boy (=whom) last week.
Example. a boy whose father works for IBM
è The boy’s (=whose) father works for IBM.

3.     In the second case, the clause already has a subject. Simply drop the conjunction during rephrasing.

4.     A list of subordinating conjunctions that frequently appear at the beginning of a dependent clause is given below:


after

because

on condition that

though

wherever

although

before

provided that

unless

while

as

even though

since

until

 

as if

given that

so that

when

 

as though

if

than

whenever

 

as soon as

in order that

that

where

 

 

Rephrasing Phrases

 

1.     If you have a adjective phrase with a present participle (V-ing) modifying a noun, take the noun as your subject and add a be-verb as文法上的動詞。The present participle becomes意義上的動詞。(Sometimes, we have to rephrase the phrase using S+V instead of S + be + Ving.)

2.     If you have a adjective phrase with a past participle (V-en) modifying a noun, take the noun as your subject and add a be-verb as文法上的動詞。The past participle becomes意義上的動詞。

Example. A woman carrying three children saw a tank destroyed by a rocket
è A woman saw a tank + the woman was carrying three children + the tank was destroyed by a rocket

The following sentences are taken from the quiz article. Words in red are the ones that you must add during rephrasing. As you can see, in most cases what you need to add are (1) subject that already appears somewhere else in the sentence and (2) be-verb.

 

l         Original sentence: In this chapter we examine three different applications, all concerned with using and managing data, that might be of interest to a hypothetical small business, the Huli Huli Pineapple and Papaya Company.

l         After rephrasing:

  1. In this chapter we examine three different applications.
  2. These applications (=that) might be of interest to a hypothetical small business.
  3. This hypothetical small business is called the Huli Huli Pineapple and Papaya Company.
  4. All three applications are concerned with using and managing data.

 

l         Original sentence: Each application is possible because of advances that have taken place in computer hardware and software.

l         After rephrasing:

  1. Each application is possible because of advances.
  2. These advances (=that) have taken place in computer hardware and software.

 

l         Original sentence: The first spreadsheets software, VisiCalc, developed in 1979, was modeled after the traditional accountant’s ledgerbook or spreadsheet.

l         After rephrasing:

  1. The first spreadsheets software was modeled after the traditional accountant’s ledgerbook or spreadsheet.
  2. The first spreadsheets software was VisiCalc.
  3. VisiCalc was developed in 1979.

 

l         Original sentence: Spreadsheets are of value to individual homeowners and investors, business planners, scientists, economists, teachers, and anyone who has text and numeric information to organize, manipulate, or display.

l         After rephrasing:

  1. Spreadsheets are of value to individual homeowners and investors, business planners, scientists, economists, teachers, and any person (=anyone).
  2. This person (=who) has text and numeric information to organize, manipulate, or display.

 

l         Original sentence: Only a portion of the grid, called a window, is visible at any one time on the screen.

l         After rephrasing:

  1. Only a portion of the grid is visible at any one time on the screen.
  2. This visible portion of the grid is called a window.

 

l         Original sentence: Initially, the window is always located in the upper left corner of the grid, at the beginning of the letter-number cell identification system (cell A1).

l         After rephrasing:

  1. Initially, the window is always located in the upper left corner of the grid.
  2. The upper left corner of the grid is at the beginning of the letter-number cell identification system (cell A1).

 

l         Original sentence: A cell can contain text information, also called a label, which appears on the screen in that cell.

l         After rephrasing:

  1. A cell can contain text information.
  2. This text information (=which) appears on the screen in that cell.
  3. This text information is also called a label

 

l         Original sentence: The second kind of information that a cell can contain is a numeric value.

l         After rephrasing:

  1. A cell can contain a second kind of information (=that).
  2. The second kind of information is a numeric value.

 

l         Original sentence: The user can choose the format in which the number will be displayed.

l         After rephrasing:

  1. The user can choose the format.
  2. The number will be displayed in this format (=which).