1. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Another random comma question

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by doggiedude, Jun 8, 2016.

    The line:
    If they wanted to give him shit about being in North America on a refugee status, fine, he could accept it.

    I originally only had the second comma. Two different pieces of software tell me to put the first one in, but neither seems to care if I have the second one or not.

    This is why I hate commas. In math and science, something either is or isn't. Why does this idiotic software give me a half-assed answer? Ok... that was a rant, you don't need to answer that part of the question.
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the point is that you've originally written If they wanted to give him shit about being in North America on a refugee status, he could accept it and then interjected the fine, so that's the first comma accounted for. It seems to me that the second is required because you need to separate what is in essence a thought bubble from the narration of the rest of the sentence.
     
  3. Midge23
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    Midge23 Member

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    Agree with the post above. You are using them as bracketing commas. Take out whatever is between them and you should still have a proper sentence (which you do).
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @Shadowfax is correct. In this case, fine is an interjection and needs to be set off, fore and aft, by commas.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Grammar software isn't perfect, so don't rely on it too much. It's best to learn the rules yourself so you know when the software is wrong.

    I agree with the two posts above by the way.
     
  6. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Hi Doggie, I agree with the guys above. I just thought I'd add the following in case it's helpful.

    If they wanted to give him shit about being in North America on a refugee status, fine, he could accept it.

    The sentence is a conditional (a 2nd conditional) and therefore has two parts, the if part and the main clause (we'll forget about the word fine in your sentence for now).

    If they wanted to give him shit about being in North America on a refugee status — this is the if part (grammarians would call it a dependant clause).

    he could accept it — this is the main clause.

    So, you've got a dependant clause and a main clause. When that's the case you can always do one of two things:

    You can do this: dependant clause, main clause. (Note the comma after the dependant clause. This is necessary if the dependant clause comes first.)

    Or this: main clause dependant clause. (Note there is no punctuation separating the clauses.)

    So in the case of your sentence, you have two possibilities (again, omitting the word fine for now):

    If they wanted to give him shit about being in North America on a refugee status, he could accept it. (Comma separating the clauses.)

    He could accept it if they wanted to give him shit about being in North America on a refugee status. (No comma separating the clauses.)

    But, with the addition of the word fine, which is an interjection (as @Wreybies said), the above points become irrelevant because now the commas are there to seperate the interjection from everything around it. Like this:

    If they wanted to give him shit about being in North America on a refugee status, fine, he could accept it. (Which is your sentence as posted.)

    Grammatically, you could do this:

    He could accept it, fine, if they wanted to give him shit about being in North America on a refugee status.

    But it doesn't scan very well, so you might want to avoid it on stylistic grounds.

    Anyway, grammar vomit. I hope some of it was useful to you. :)
     
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  7. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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