A periodic sentence is a sentence which has been deliberately structured to place the main point at the end. Therefore, a period sentence will have its main clause or predicate as the last part.
Usually, a periodic sentence will be a busy sentence. Often, the very last word in the sentence will be the point the writer wants to emphasize.
Periodic sentences are mostly used to emphasize or to create suspense. Periodic sentences can also be more persuasive than normal sentences as they allow a writer the put all the reasoning or evidence up front before making the final point.
Examples of Periodic Sentences
Here are some examples of periodic sentences:
- Despite the blinding snow, the freezing temperatures, and the heightened threat of attack from polar bears,
the team continued.
(This example has the main independent clause at the end. The main clause is shaded.)
- The winner of best city, with a mile-long modern shopping mall, cycle paths hugging every road, and a network of canals,
is Milton Keynes.
(This example has the predicate at the end. The predicate is shaded)
- With two raw blisters and now unable to carry my pack due to two broken ribs and broken collar bone, I stared at my dead phone pleadingly.
(This example has the main clause (shaded) at the end. It ends not only with the idea the writer wanted to emphasize, but also with the very word (in bold) the writer wanted to emphasize.)
- When I was shopping in the town yesterday, I saw Mike.
- Because she knows the filing system, has more experience than the rest of the team, and can get into work at a moment's notice, Sarah will be charge next week.
(This is an example of putting the reasoning up front before stating the main idea (shaded). This is an attempt at being persuasive.)
What is a sentence?
What is a predicate?
What is an independent clause?
What is an dependent clause?
Glossary of grammatical terms