One of the first principles of clear writing is to get to the grammatical subject early in a sentence, and to get to the verb soon thereafter. Every time a reader encounters a sentence, she wants to know who did what. She may want to know other things too, but she always wants to know that. The reader’s brain is wired, therefore, to look for the subject and the verb (who did what?). When you write sentences that get straight to the subject and verb, you are making life easier for your reader.
Consider this compound sentence from David French:
I discussed public policy and big historic trends, but I tried to focus on how those trends impact individual human beings.
Each of the independent clauses in this sentence starts with the subject and verb: I discussed…I tried. Most English sentences start with a subject and verb, by the way; there’s nothing special about this one. I chose this example because all of its nouns are abstract (unless you count human beings, which I don’t). But as abstract as this sentence is, you had no trouble making sense of it, partly because the writer quickly gets you to and through the subject-verb nexus.Read More