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Interrupting Cow Notes


Knock, knock?

Who's there?

Interrupting Cow.

Interrupting cow wh-


Interrupting cows (IC's) interrupt the complete thought of a sentence to add extra information.  Just like a cow on a farm is kept inside his fence, interrupting cows must be kept inside a set of commas.

Interrupting cow CA's - connecting adverbs


S;ca,S (used normally, not as a IC - see sentence pattern notes)

I decided to go to the store; however, Sally decided to stay home.


Interrupting CA

 I decided to go to the store; Sally, however, decided to stay home.


You can add descriptive words...

 Rosa, finally ready, jumped in the car at the last minute.

 Fred, always five minutes behind, regretted that he wasn't ready to go when they left.

 Rosa, therefore, went to the store without him.


You can add to any sentence pattern...

 When George wanted to go to the store, however, Sally wouldn't let him go.

 Wishing for some cotton candy, Fred, always five minutes behind, regretted that he wasn't ready to go when they left.

 Jill, never-the-less, felt sorry for Fred, so she sent him a message to see if he wanted anything.

IC Participle Phrases

Regular P,S

Leaning out of her chair, Sally accidentally fell in the floor.

Interrupting Cow participle phrase

Sally, leaning out of her chair, accidentally fell in the floor.


More examples:

George, frustrated and confused, wondered why there was a banana in his

book bag.

The banana, rotting and stinking, made the other children hold their noses.

The teacher asked George to throw it in the trash can, wishing for 3 o'clock to come quickly.




An appositive renames a noun (so you'll be positive who or what the sentence is talking about).

Mrs. Bright, my English teacher, loves boxes of assorted chocolates.


Appositives can be placed beside any noun.

Mrs. Bright, my English teacher, loves boxes of assorted chocolates,especially Russell Stover's assorted chocolates.


More examples...

Rudy, our dog for the past eleven years, will roll over for anybody to scratch his tummy.

His daddy, a full-bred pug, once took down a huge golden retriever who was about to jump on me.


Appositives are great places for metaphors and similes...

Boo Radley, a ghost from days gone by, hadn't come outside of his house in fifteen years.

Sentences with interrupting cows, like diamonds in a desert landscape, make our writing skills shine far brighter than all the other students our age.


Of course, you can use them in conjunction with sentence patterns.

Redneck Bob, champion of hunters, was headed to his deer stand this weekend; he had been dreaming of shooting himself an eight pointer for a long time.

Fred searched for enough money to buy a snack because he had forgotten to pack anything for lunch, a dumb mistake on his part.

When Sally, the reigning drama queen of our entire school, found out that Billy had spent his lunch period talking to Betty Sue, she marched right over to him, yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs.


Out-of-Order Adjectives (ooo adj)

Find the adjectives in this regular sentence...

 The wet, sloshy grass stuck to my feet as I ran through the grass after the rain shower.


The same thought with a ooo adj:

The grass, wet and sloshy, stuck to my feet as I ran through the grass after the rain shower.


More examples:

The thunder, fierce and angry, shattered the silence of my bedroom.

My shoes, tight and uncomfortable, held my feet prisoner all day long.


Add OOO Adjectives to these sentences...

The girls wanted to dance at the prom, but they were too scared that someone would make fun of them.

Hoping that no one would notice, the little boy stuck his finger up his nose and pulled out a prize.

Because I am so hungry, time seems to be creeping by slowly today; I spent most of second period dreaming about cheeseburgers.



An absolute is a noun plus a participle phrase.



The camera, lens zoomed perfectly on its target, snapped pictures like a rapid machine gun.

Hair flapping in the breeze, Cora stuck her head out the car window and panted like a dog.

Sally, eyes popping out of her head, nostrils flaring like a bull’s, turned to face George and told him he had three seconds to tell her he was sorry.

Practice adding absolutes to these sentences.

 Last night Mary rode the Farris wheel at the Ellenboro Fair.

 The donkey marched across the desert with many packs upon his back.

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