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He summarily dismissed in a fit of rage what his son told him.

Or

In a fit of rage he summarily dismissed what his son told him.

Which of the two sentence is better than the other and why ? This is actually a sentence improvement question asked in my exam, the actual given sentence was He summarily dismissed what his son told him in a fit of rage. I had four options, I managed to rule out two of them but not able to decide between the above given options.

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Chenmunka, Em., P. E. Dant, Varun Nair Jun 28 '17 at 4:43

  • This question does not appear to be about learning the English language within the scope defined in the help center.
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's asking for advice on writing style. – FumbleFingers Jun 27 '17 at 13:39
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    You don't say what the other two options are that you've apparently been able to rule out (on the grounds of style, or syntax?), but I would just say that there's nothing syntactically incorrect about, for example, What his son told him he summarily dismissed in a fit of rage. Come to that, there's nothing wrong with What his son told him in a fit of rage he summarily dismissed, but obviously that changes the meaning (it's the son rather than the father who got angry). – FumbleFingers Jun 27 '17 at 13:43
  • I think you may have eliminated the right answer. In the original, the son has the fit of rage. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 27 '17 at 13:44
  • What was the exam about? Writing style or learning English? – Ben Kovitz Jun 27 '17 at 20:55
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In general in English, when a verb has an object, like "what his son told him" here, we put that object immediately after the verb. It is legal to put a prepositional phrase, like "in a fit of rage", in between, but this is generally considered awkward.

So where to put it? You can put it at the beginning of the sentence: "In a fit of rage, he summarily dismissed what his son told him." Or you can put it at the end: "He summarily dismissed what his son told him in a fit of rage." It's more common to put such phrases at the end so that the reader gets the basic idea of what's going on before adding the detail.

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