I have confusion that how to divide sentence into chunks so that I can use slight pause between each chunk while reading?

For example: The capacity of methodical exercise (short pause) to lower spending on medications (short pause) is unquestionable.Take diabetes victims as an illustration: The more time they spend on outdoor actions,(short pause) the less amount they pay out (short pause)on medications and other treatments.

Please see above example in which "short pause" is used where new chunk began within the sentence.I know that there should be "short pause" and "long pause" when there is comma and full stop respectively. But don't know how to divide sentence into chunks so that "short pause" I use.

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    Your question is probably off-topic for this site. However, I would like to ask you why you would want to read English in this way. It is unnatural. Jan 21, 2017 at 13:46
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    The OP is just asking how to locate major constituent breaks. The (pause) business is irrelevant; there are intonational cues for constituents that aren't recorded in the writing, so it must be done by syntax alone if one doesn't hear the intended speech in one's mind's ear. Luckily, language's vast redundancy makes this possible, if not always easy. Jan 21, 2017 at 14:31
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    I don't think that most English speakers would insert detectable pauses where you suggest. The only pause would be at the comma.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 27, 2017 at 19:33

2 Answers 2


As John Lawler says in his comment, you need to know about constituent structure, i.e., parsing. Put a long pause between the two major sub parts of an expression, then short pause between sub sub parts of each of those parts. This will often work pretty well, but it is only a rough guide, and I don't know the details of how it actually does work.

And, also as John says, what you refer to as pauses are not necessarily literally periods of silence. They may instead reflect length or emphasis on a preceding syllable.


Short pauses in writing are indicated by commas, but the use of commas is strictly regulated as far as correct punctuation is concerned. Find a simple book that explains punctuation. In your example, the only indicated pause (where you want one) is at the comma after "outdoor actions".

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