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Thread: Is this proper grammar

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Bloggsworth View Post
    The second comma is unnecessary in the one, two and three.

    Yesterday I went to the store needs no comma; but Yesterday, I went to the store, today I didn't would.
    In the first case, some styles would use a comma after the "two". In your second example, I wouldn't use a comma between "store" and "today" - I'd either use a semi-colon or make it two separate sentences.
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  2. #22
    WF Veteran Riis Marshall's Avatar
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    Hello Emma

    Interesting thread; reckon I might as well enter the fray.

    If John went to the store with the intention of getting a date with Zelda, who worked there, struck out then bought a bottle of milk at a farm he drove past on the way home then the comma is just fine. If he went into the store, discovered Zelda wasn't working that day so he bought a bottle of milk at the store and went home then the comma isn't necessary. It depends on the context of the story.

    About commas, Gower says: 'When in doubt, leave it out.' (Not everybody here on these fora, or the world for that matter, agrees with Gower.)

    In the case of: 'The first three numbers are one, two, and three,' some, such as Strunk & White, argue for the second comma, others argue it's not necessary. Personally, I don't use it but that's my choice. My teachers in Western Pennsylvania during the fifties told us to omit the second comma.

    My problem is when I'm writing I tend to read my stuff in my head as though I were reading it out loud. The result of this is I often put a comma in where I would pause if I were reading out loud. During my editing I remove most of these.

    Interesting things, these little curly things we call 'commas', almost as interesting as apostrophes and far more interesting than question marks or exclamation points.

    All the best with your writing.

    Warmest regards
    Riis
    All writing is practise for the writing that follows.
    If it jams, force it; if it breaks, it needed replacing anyhow.
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    If you want, you can, put, a, comma, after, every, single, word. You can write anything you want. You asked for opinions and now you quibble about the wording of those opinions. You want something stronger? Try this; the comma in the first sentence is _____! You fill in the blank.
    I thought the comma in the first sentence was ungrammatical. But I thought of it as being like a fragment -- in my head, fragments are ungrammatical, but a lot of authors comfortably do fragments a lot.

    I also thought I didn't use that type of sentence, but then I checked my WIP and I do.
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

  4. #24
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    I don't think it's necessary at all. Leaving all technicalities out of it, I just think it makes you pause somewhere you would not naturally pause. In turn, it just makes the sentence read very oddly.

    if I were reading a book it woukd make me stop and reread it a few times because it looks wrong.

  5. #25
    I agree. Again, it's like the fragment. Fragments are common; they're an important part of writing. Today I was admiring this gorgeously-written fragment. But I don't think anyone wants to call them grammatically correct.

    I found three websites willing to state that the comma between two parts of a compound predicate is grammatically incorrect.

    Don’t put a comma between two verbs in a compound predicate.

    A common mistake people make is to insert a comma between two elements of a compound predicate.

    Please note: When you join just two verbs, no comma should come before the and.
    Obviously, writers put a comma there sometimes. I am not fond of it, but I have done it too. Strunk & White are close -- they say a comma can go in there if it's needed for clarity.

    So putting a comma in my first sentence is not good writing. But I suspect, in context, the following was acceptable. I think the author wanted a pause (and in general was not using dashes or ellipses)

    He breathed deeply, and sat down.
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

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