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ErylRavenwell
12-11-2006, 05:35 AM
A well-known writer wrote (not word for word, just to make a point with "then" here): She took the main road, then veered right onto a dirt path.

Here "then" is an adverb, not a conjunction.

I would write (although previously I used to make the above mistake as well, because it reads better): She took the main road, and then veered right onto a dirt path.

Or

She took the main road; then, she veered right onto a dirt path.


Do you agree with me?

Note, "Then" is used as a conjunction when it means "as a result".

Please discuss—all POVs most welcome. :)

Sandi LeFaucheur
12-11-2006, 05:59 AM
Blimey, I can't see owt wrong with the first one.

But then, I can't see owt wrong with "owt" either.

I am, no doubt, about to be humbled.

Carmy
12-11-2006, 09:53 AM
I guess I'm about to be humbled, too. I'd use "and then".

(Think this has something to do with the UK English roots in OZ and Canada?)

blacbird
12-11-2006, 11:04 AM
Blimey, I can't see owt wrong with the first one.

But then, I can't see owt wrong with "owt" either.

I am, no doubt, about to be humbled.

Well, ya should be, eh? None of us God-fearing Amurricans would ever use the word "owt".

But I completely agree about your first contention. The initial version of that sentence is just fine. Adding "and" to it does nothing but add another word.

caw

absitinvidia
12-11-2006, 11:18 AM
I would write (although previously I used to make the above mistake as well, because it reads better): She took the main road, and then veered right onto a dirt path.


In your sentence, I would omit the comma because it separates the two parts of the compound predicate.

My M-W 11th, in its entry of then as an adverb, includes the example walked to the door, then turned, so I think it's just fine to use a comma there. What I don't like is when the comma is omitted: She took the main road then veered right onto a dirt path.

ErylRavenwell
12-11-2006, 11:39 AM
In your sentence, I would omit the comma because it separates the two parts of the compound predicate.

My M-W 11th, in its entry of then as an adverb, includes the example walked to the door, then turned, so I think it's just fine to use a comma there. What I don't like is when the comma is omitted: She took the main road then veered right onto a dirt path.

Well, you can't link two independent clauses with an adverb; this is the function of a conjunction. There may be exceptions to the rule, though. That's why I'm seeking clarity on the issue. Please, stress further as to why the use of a comma as a separator is justified in your example. Compound predicate?

Would you write: I walked to the door, suddenly turned.

TheIT
12-11-2006, 11:46 AM
For the "and then" issue, you might want to look at the "Learn Writing with Uncle Jim" thread in the Writing Novels forum. It contains several "discussions" about this topic. ;)

ErylRavenwell
12-11-2006, 11:52 AM
For the "and then" issue, you might want to look at the "Learn Writing with Uncle Jim" thread in the Writing Novels forum. It contains several "discussions" about this topic. ;)

Raise an eyebrow. Where is that "Uncle Jim" thread exactly? Search function returned a load of baloney. :)

TheIT
12-11-2006, 11:56 AM
At the moment, "Learn Writing with Uncle Jim" is on the first page of the "Writing Novels" forum. Also look at the threads which are stickied at the top of the "Writing Novels" forum. Two of them are indexes into the UJ thread.

blacbird
12-11-2006, 12:00 PM
Well, you can't link two independent clauses with an adverb; this is the function of a conjunction. There may be exceptions to the rule, though. That's why I'm seeking clarity on the issue. Please, stress further as to why the use of a comma as a separator is justified in your example. Compound predicate?

Would you write: I walked to the door, suddenly turned.

Just write the damn story.

caw

ErylRavenwell
12-11-2006, 12:07 PM
Just write the damn story.

caw

Roger that. Just write the damn story. All that grammar just flucking with my head.

Learn a thing today though: compound predicate. Thanks to absitinvidia.

WildScribe
12-11-2006, 01:37 PM
Personally, I write what flows best. Sometimes conversational English might not be perfectly gramattically correct, but the usage is so common that the correct way is jarring. Just MHO.

absitinvidia
12-11-2006, 09:29 PM
Well, you can't link two independent clauses with an adverb; this is the function of a conjunction. There may be exceptions to the rule, though. That's why I'm seeking clarity on the issue. Please, stress further as to why the use of a comma as a separator is justified in your example. Compound predicate?

Would you write: I walked to the door, suddenly turned.

These are not two independent clauses; rather, they are two parts of a compound predicate. "suddenly turned" is not an independent clause; it has no subject.

Jamesaritchie
12-11-2006, 09:43 PM
"and then" is grammatically correct through long usage. But skipping the "and" still leaves a perfectly understandable sentence that flows well. This is one of those case where grammar and general usage really do conflict, and while I usually include the "and," I don't think anyone is committing a crime who doesn't, particularly in dialogue.

Bufty
12-12-2006, 12:50 AM
Also, if one is trying to find words for cutting, the 'and', and 'that' are two relatively painless and easily found candidates.

ErylRavenwell
12-12-2006, 02:12 AM
These are not two independent clauses; rather, they are two parts of a compound predicate. "suddenly turned" is not an independent clause; it has no subject.

I know now :) . Thanks.

maestrowork
12-12-2006, 02:46 AM
Cut the "then" unless it's really necessary. Usually, I use "then" in a long sequence of action: She stopped at the corner store, bought a cup of coffee, then rushed out to catch the bus. Here, it's both grammatically correct and it sounds fine. If it's just two actions, I'd probably just say:

She stopped at the corner store and bought a cup of coffee. She rushed to catch the bus and arrived at school just in time for the test.

Arkie
12-12-2006, 08:07 AM
I think Maestrowork has it right. THEN is not the proper word for that sentence. THEN is a time indicator. The sentence needs some spread. It's too much of a time crunch to have her take the main road with one clause and a dirt path with the second.

blacbird
12-12-2006, 10:04 AM
"and then" is grammatically correct through long usage.

This is an important point. It illustrates how grammatical "rules" evolve, and also that they may change over time. They exist only to serve the purpose of clarity in communication, and in this instance, there is no problem with clarity, as JAR continues to indicate:


But skipping the "and" still leaves a perfectly understandable sentence that flows well. This is one of those case where grammar and general usage really do conflict, and while I usually include the "and," I don't think anyone is committing a crime who doesn't, particularly in dialogue.

caw