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Another Word Conundrum (1 Viewer)

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I like to find out what it is Word doesn't like about a sentence when online grammar checkers don't find a problem. It helps improve my understanding of grammar. So here's another one perhaps someone could help sort out:

His hand mere inches from her fingers(,) he paused, lowered down onto his haunches and brought his own stare in line with hers.

Word is telling me I should have a semicolon between 'fingers' and 'he paused' but to me, it looks perfectly fine and on many occasions Word does too, so clearly there's something unique about this sentence I'm not aware of. Any idea?
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
I like to find out what it is Word doesn't like about a sentence when online grammar checkers don't find a problem. It helps improve my understanding of grammar. So here's another one perhaps someone could help sort out:

Word is telling me I should have a semicolon between 'fingers' and 'he paused' but to me, it looks perfectly fine and on many occasions Word does too, so clearly there's something unique about this sentence I'm not aware of. Any idea?

Word would be totally wrong there, as a semicolon is used to separate independent clauses, as "His hand mere inches from her fingers" is not an independent clause.

When discussing semicolons, I ALWAYS like to quote a grammar expert's blog on semicolons where she declared them a perfectly good piece of punctuation, and that everyone should be entitled to use one ONCE in their life. ;-) I agreed with her ... meaning ... that I often see semicolons used properly where a period would have been an even better choice.
 

Irwin

Senior Member
No, there shouldn't be a semicolon, since the first phrase isn't a complete sentence; it's a subordinate clause. I'd add a comma after haunches, since I like to use Oxford commas, but that's a matter of style. There is an implied With at the beginning of the sentence, which could be why Word got confused.

[With] his hand mere inches from her fingers, he paused, lowered down onto his haunches, and brought his own stare in line with hers.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Word would be totally wrong there, as a semicolon is used to separate independent clauses, as "His hand mere inches from her fingers" is not an independent clause.

When discussing semicolons, I ALWAYS like to quote a grammar expert's blog on semicolons where she declared them a perfectly good piece of punctuation, and that everyone should be entitled to use one ONCE in their life. ;-) I agreed with her ... meaning ... that I often see semicolons used properly where a period would have been an even better choice.

This is the only problem with Word. Even before I double checked online, I knew it was right ... but Word makes you doubt it. I don't want to turn the grammar check off entirely because there are occasions when it does help.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
No, there shouldn't be a semicolon, since the first phrase isn't a complete sentence; it's a subordinate clause. I'd add a comma after haunches, since I like to use Oxford commas, but that's a matter of style. There is an implied With at the beginning of the sentence, which could be why Word got confused.

Oh, that makes sense! Cheers.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
Word sometimes gets it wrong, which is why I don't use it or any other program to change my grammar. I leave Word's spelling and grammar checkers on, because it can filter out the odd typo or misspelt word, but I treat the grammar checker as purely advisory. Sometimes it is necessary to depart from perfect grammar in order to obtain the desired effect(s) from a passage.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Word sometimes gets it wrong, which is why I don't use it or any other program to change my grammar. I leave Word's spelling and grammar checkers on, because it can filter out the odd typo or misspelt word, but I treat the grammar checker as purely advisory. Sometimes it is necessary to depart from perfect grammar in order to obtain the desired effect(s) from a passage.

I really only use to to catch any glaring mistakes and often ignore it when I'm deliberately breaking the rules. Sometimes though I'll have one too many passive sentences and whilst I sometimes want them, because I have those horrible blue lines everywhere, it kinda reminds me I might want to ease up on them a tad.

I DO like Grammar checker in Word overall and I also like the fact it throws up a question or two, like this. My understanding of grammar is completely instinctive. I know what I need to write but couldn't explain in the right grammatical terms, which is actually pretty handy when critiquing. Sometimes using the correct terminology may be the easy answer for some, but if you don't know or understand that terminology, you're pretty much in the dark.
 
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