Sentence Patterns 1: The Restrictive–Nonrestrictive Conundrum

Understanding the most brilliant convention in written English

I want to take this course!

Who can take this course?

  • A must for every copyeditor—except the conscious expert!
  • Anyone who senses that self-learning has a lot to do with learning how to read and comprehending sentences correctly
  • Anyone who has completed the course Essentials of Written English from The Art of Copyediting and wants to move forward
  • Anyone who has some idea about restrictive and nonrestrictive (parenthetic) elements and wants to learn it in-depth
  • Anyone who has been struggling to understand this principle even after years of writing or editing
  • Content writers and subject matter experts (SMEs) involved in serious writing

Course overview

Basic details

  • 39 video lessons (totaling almost 10 hours), accessible 24 × 7 for a period of 10 weeks
  • Approximate study time required: 5 weeks to complete the lessons
  • Provides a detailed discussion of this important basic convention in written English before going into the actual course
  • Discusses every sentence structure and punctuation possible in relation to the presence of restrictive/nonrestrictive elements in a sentence
  • Discusses the implications of the basic principle in ways that may be unmatched
  • Course download
    • Summary PDF listing all the 6 base patterns and 21 subpatterns that will be discussed in the course

Addresses your needs

  • Every one of you—those entering the copyediting profession, freelance as well as full-time editors—can learn from the convenience of your homes
  • Self-paced study (any time, weekdays, weekends, with breaks whenever you want)
  • Mobile access to course lessons via a dedicated app
  • Replay lessons any number of times till the concepts become clear to you
  • Interaction with participants and instructor in the form of comments within the course; email support also available
  • World-class training at affordable pricing, part-payments also possible
  • This course has The Art of Copyediting guarantee 
I want to take this course!

Background information

  • Sentence Patterns 1 (the present course) and Sentence Patterns 2 (to be released) are two courses to be taken in sequence, after completing Essentials of Written English (or directly, if you think you already know the basics covered in that course)

  • These two courses look at the "wide-angle view" of sentences: that is  i.e., they look at the structure as well as the functional relationships between the different parts of sentences, and therefore—by sheer logic—relate to the use (or nonuse) of commas in sentences

  • Sentence Patterns 1 looks at the restrictive and nonrestrictive elements in sentences (Rule 5 in Essentials of Written English), and presents 21 sentence patterns categorized conveniently into 6 base patterns

  • Sentence Patterns 2 (yet to be released) will look at the interplay of simple sentences (Rules 2 and 3), compound sentences (Rule 9), and sentences with introductory elements (Rule 7) in terms of the number of subjects and associated actions and the 32 structural patterns that can emerge out of this interplay

  • There is probably no book on this planet that covers all these aspects together

  • These courses have been evolved after meticulously examining and documenting structural patterns of sentences for over 15 years

Why this may be important for you!

  • You may spend quite some years raking your brain to fill in the knowledge gaps still remaining after reading various books on the subject or asking questions on forums (and possibly become more confused with the various, often contradictory, responses to your genuine questions)
  • This course—together with Sentence Patterns 2—will cover the entire ground logically and seamlessly
  • You'll be so awed with what you learn that you'll wonder why these have never been taught this way
  • The course discusses every sentence pattern possible (in relation to restrictive–nonrestrictive elements) under 6 base patterns and 21 subpatterns

Benefits of taking this course

  • At the end of the course, you'll learn what it means to really read a sentence correctly (yes, it will awaken you to the possibility that you could have misread sentences so many times in the past!)
  • Will help you understand "the basic sentence," together with its essential and nonessential components
  • Breaks down the possible presence of restrictive/nonrestrictive elements into simple logical patterns, both structurally (their sequence) and functionally (what each one modifies)—and thus grasp the essence of a sentence as quickly as possible
  • Provides you a summary document—as a course download—that will serve as a reference document to help you connect any sentence to one of these patterns
  • Will help you complete the first milestone in the journey of mastering written English

The Art of Copyediting guarantee

This course comes with The Art of Copyediting guarantee of satisfaction

  • The value of content that you will receive and its practical use in earning will far outweigh the amount you pay for the course
  • Brings together the cumulative effect of 25 years of learning and training by the instructor
  • The course is completely self-contained; you do not need access to any specific style manual, although you can relate whatever you learn to any manual you may have access to
  • You will learn within 5 weeks and bypass the many years of struggle and conscious reading of various books and style manuals to pick up what is presented here
  • The course (built from scenarios encountered by copyeditors over 15 years) will answer almost any practical problem you may encounter—or at least empower you with sufficient information to help you solve newer problems

Course Outline

  • Restrictive–nonrestrictive elements
    • Basic principle: modifiers can either limit or expand what they qualify
    • Appositives
    • Restrictive/nonrestrictive elements can occur anywhere in a sentence
    • What happens when we add—or do not add—a comma?
    • Catchwords for restrictive/nonrestrictive elements
    • Some common restrictive/nonrestrictive elements
    • Common punctuation errors with restrictive/nonrestrictive elements
    • Resolving confusions between appositives and serial comma use
  • Introduction to sentence patterns involving nonrestrictive and restrictive elements
    • The learning process—challenges and solutions
  • Sentences with nonrestrictive elements toward the end of the sentence
    • 4 patterns within this group
  • Sentences with nonrestrictive elements in the middle of the sentence
    • 5 patterns within this group
  • Sentences with restrictive (defining) elements
    • 7 patterns within this group
  • Sentences with tricky –ing forms at the end
  • Sentences with restrictive or nonrestrictive elements coming after attributive statements
    • 3 patterns within this group
  • Special cases of sentences that convey the same meaning either way

Course highlights

  • Discusses the implications of the basic principle in ways that may be unmatched
  • Discusses ways of recognizing the principle
  • Discusses all concepts using examples from academic manuscripts, which will help you take that great leap in understanding—moving from simple day-to-day sentences to the complex world of scholarly, academic writing
  • Provides logical and well-thought-out categories of structural patterns, which make it easier to understand the general content of a sentence and its overall presentation

  • Makes its crystal clear that it is impossible to understand the restrictive–nonrestrictive conundrum without having a thorough knowledge of restrictive elements, the complexities of which are not fully discussed in standard books and manuals

  • Provides a framework for mastering the principle as well as the play of catchwords in restrictive and nonrestrictive contexts

Choose one of two offers for this course

The restrictive–nonrestrictive conundrum-1


Single full payment

Access to 39 video lessons totaling almost 10 hours

Access to course videos: 24 × 7, for 10 weeks

Mobile access to courses via a dedicated app

Interaction with course participants and instructor via comments; also email support

Downloadable summary PDF listing all the 6 base patterns and 21 subpatterns 

Buy now

The restrictive–nonrestrictive conundrum-2


Two part-payments: $89 upfront and another $89 after 30 days

Access to 39 video lessons totaling almost 10 hours

Access to course videos: 24 × 7, for 10 weeks

Mobile access to courses via a dedicated app

Interaction with course participants and instructor via comments; also email support

Downloadable summary PDF listing all the 6 base patterns and 21 subpatterns 

Subscribe now
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