Now if you read my last post, on sentence adverbs (and if you didn’t: seriously, why not?) you’ll already have a couple of emphatic sentence starters in your armoury, ‘I am hopeful that’ and ‘We should all be thankful that’.

Why do we need them though? You might just want to emphasise the importance of what you’re saying in a reasonably formal way without resorting to ‘really’ or, even worse, ‘really, really’ (or even worse, ‘ like, rilly rilly.’)’ This might be especially useful in your topic sentence, when you’re introducing the topic of the paragraph you’re writing. It can also be useful in your conclusion, where you want to summarise your main ideas without just repeating what you’ve already said.

Here’s a regular, non-emphatic sentence:

Good characters are important in a story.

Adding exclamation marks and ‘really’ isn’t fooling anyone:

Good characters are really important in a story!

But an emphatic sentence structure looks and sounds just the part:

An essential component of a good story is believable characters.

Better, no? I changed some of the words a bit, true, but most of the better effect comes from the change to an emphatic sentence structure. Here are a few basic structures that will come in useful

The amazing/interesting/essential/most important thing about X is

What is interesting (etc.) about X is

One thing that I /like about/value in X is

An important aspect/ essential component/ major part of X is …


Make these sentences emphatic. Imagine one is the topic sentence for a whole paragraph and write that paragraph.

  •   The Olympics is fun to watch because of the variety of events.
  •  [Name song] by [name band] is the best song of the year.
  •  For an adventure to be a real adventure, there needs to be some risk.

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