PDA

View Full Version : Friendly people needed to help me with rule # 1



writerterri
11-04-2005, 12:59 AM
I need help learning the rules of writing. I'm trying to improve my skills. What I need are examples and explanations of rule # 1, so I can identify problem sentences in my WIP's. A lot of examples would be great! There is some grammar I do understand but I can't put names with parts of the sentence. And commas can be confusing to me. Like in the sentence above. Does a comma go between understand and but?
Thanks everyone!

writerterri



Rule # 1.

To join two independent clauses, use a comma followed by a conjunction, a semicolon alone or a semicolon followed by a sentence modifier.

Jaycinth
11-04-2005, 01:23 AM
Heath's Basic Handbook of Usage (I sleep with it beside my bed)

The Transitive Vampire. ( My daughter keeps swiping it and taking it to school. It is like a humerous Heath's)

Strunk and White ( If I didn't include that I'd be burned at the AW stake.)
You can find copies on Amazon.
Have fun!!!

paprikapink
11-04-2005, 01:34 AM
Lotsa folks here can speak to this with more authority than I can, but I'm going to give it a whack for my own benefit.

What I need are examples and explanations of rule # 1, so I can identify problem sentences in my WIP's.

In this sentence, I think you followed the "Join two independent clauses with a comma followed by a conjunction" part of rule #1.

"What I need are examples and explanations"
and
"I can identify problem sentences in my WIPs"

could stand as two separate sentences, but you joined them into one sentence made of two independent clauses when you included ", so" in between them.

There is some grammar I do understand but I can't put names with parts of the sentence.

We could break this into two sentences too: "There is some grammar I do understand." and "I can't put names with the parts of the sentence." You've got a "but" in there to hook 'em up, but no comma. Based on rule #1, it sounds like you need a comma, although reading it I didn't get that "bad grammar" feeling that some sentences'll give you, if you know what I mean.

I'm wondering why, in rule #1, there's a comma after the first "clauses," and what's a "sentence modifier?" Is that another term for "writer?"

writerterri
11-04-2005, 02:20 AM
So an independent clause is a complete thought? Or Action? And the word that connects the two clauses is a conjuction? I think I'm getting it.

I do check out books on the subject, but I don't have anyone to check it out with. (was that right?)

Do I need a (,) after So, above?

Sage
11-04-2005, 02:35 AM
I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that a "sentence modifier" might be some transitional word or phrase.

"Jian was having trouble falling asleep; then again, he almost never fell asleep before 10 p.m."

paprikapink
11-04-2005, 03:00 AM
So an independent clause is a complete thought? Or Action? And the word that connects the two clauses is a conjuction? I think I'm getting it.

I do check out books on the subject, but I don't have anyone to check it out with. (was that right?)

Do I need a (,) after So, above?

This is where it gets rather esoteric. After "So" in your opening sentence, I'd say yes you need a comma. In that instance, where it follows an introductory "so," the comma means "brace yourself, reader! I'm about to draw a conclusion/express a view/make an interpretation! You don't want to miss this!" That's a loose translation.

Gehanna
11-11-2005, 04:08 AM
writerterri said:

And commas can be confusing to me. Like in the sentence above. Does a comma go between understand and but?

Bless you! ... commas give me much grief. I can relate.

Sincerely,
Gehanna

Unique
11-11-2005, 04:29 AM
Like Gehanna, I always want to put a comma before my but. But, I don't think that's where it goes.

Sometimes it seems as if it would fit there, but that may be because that's where a person would draw a breath to continue speaking. See what I mean?

wOOt Gehanna! Look what I found in Warriner's English Grammar:

"Use a comma before and, but, or, nor, for, and yet when they join the parts of a compound sentence." Hooray! We can comma before our buts!

"A compound sentence is a sentence that contains two or more simple sentences, usually joined by a connecting word." The connectors are: and, but, or, nor, for, and yet.
I'm psyched. :)

writerterri
11-12-2005, 02:12 PM
Thanks!

travNastee
01-15-2006, 11:16 AM
The first rule of sentence modifiers is you don't talk about sentence modifiers.
The second rule of...


C'mon, someone had to do it.

writerterri
01-15-2006, 12:24 PM
The first rule of sentence modifiers is you don't talk about sentence modifiers.
The second rule of...


C'mon, someone had to do it.

That's why I didn't post the second rule. I felt it coming.

Thanks,

Terri

luxintenebrae
01-19-2006, 06:03 AM
I found a site on sentence modifiers that seems to give some good examples: http://www.criticalreading.com/sentence_modifiers.htm. I hope this helps.

In the post where you asked whether "So" needed a comma after it, I don't think it technically has to. Someone please tell me if I'm wrong, but I think it's a preposition, and prepositional phrases less than 5 words don't traditionally need commas (unless that's changed or I'm mistaken). However, it depends on the sentence. Some should have them for clarity, and I usually prefer them. Paprikapink's right; if you want the reader to pause more to add emphasis for that "brace yourself" feeling, then it's perfectly acceptable. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I've always felt most confident about grammar rules. My mom was a stickler for them.

For commas before "but," "and," etc., just make sure the clause is independent (has its own subject).
Janet wanted to go to the dance, but her mom wouldn't let her.
Janet wanted to go to the dance but wasn't allowed.
It seems like you guys already know that, but I just thought I'd mention it. :)

writerterri
01-19-2006, 10:22 AM
You're the best! I will study this.

Thanks

Terri



I found a site on sentence modifiers that seems to give some good examples: http://www.criticalreading.com/sentence_modifiers.htm. I hope this helps.

In the post where you asked whether "So" needed a comma after it, I don't think it technically has to. Someone please tell me if I'm wrong, but I think it's a preposition, and prepositional phrases less than 5 words don't traditionally need commas (unless that's changed or I'm mistaken). However, it depends on the sentence. Some should have them for clarity, and I usually prefer them. Paprikapink's right; if you want the reader to pause more to add emphasis for that "brace yourself" feeling, then it's perfectly acceptable. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I've always felt most confident about grammar rules. My mom was a stickler for them.

For commas before "but," "and," etc., just make sure the clause is independent (has its own subject).
Janet wanted to go to the dance, but her mom wouldn't let her.
Janet wanted to go to the dance but wasn't allowed.
It seems like you guys already know that, but I just thought I'd mention it. :)