1. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Commas?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, Nov 19, 2011.

    What would you write?
    1) She followed the advice to the letter by saying, “I’m going to the restrooms to wash my hands” as soon as the drinks were ordered.
    2) She followed the advice to the letter by saying “I’m going to the restrooms to wash my hands” as soon as the drinks were ordered.
    3) She followed the advice to the letter by saying, “I’m going to the restrooms to wash my hands,” as soon as the drinks were ordered.
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    She followed the advice to the letter. As soon as the drinks were ordered, she said, “I’m going to the restrooms to wash my hands.”

    or

    She followed the advice to the letter as soon as the drinks were ordered.

    “I’m going to the restrooms to wash my hands,” she said.
     
  3. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    The third one is correct, but it's a sentence trying to do to much, IMO.

    Also, why would she go to more than one restroom to wash her hands?

    Second there seems to be an order issue. She doesn't leave to wash her hands until after the drinks were ordered, so that info should come first.

    After the drinks were ordered, she followed the advice to the letter and said, "I'm going to the restroom to wash my hands."

    After the drink were ordered, she followed the advice to the letter. "I'm going to the restroom to wash my hands."
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    #3 is the only correct one...

    and, though i'm a major foe of over-crammed sentences, i find nothing wrong there... it's clear in meaning and not overworded, or in real need of being divided into two sentences, imo...
     
  5. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    You know, I wonder if this would be correct (NOTE: I honestly don't have the answer...but I'm curious, too.) :
    She followed the advice to the letter by saying, "I'm going to the restroom to wash my hands." as soon as the drinks were ordered.

    The reason why I'm wondering if there would be a period instead of a comma is because of how you punctuate regular dialogue. For instance:
    "What are you talking about?" he said.
    "I don't know what's going on." she answered.


    The above sentences are grammatically correct, and I think the same concept would apply to your question.

    Any thoughts? Could my theory be correct?
     
  6. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Number three on your list is the correct one out of the three examples. But, if I was writing this, I would do what shadowwalker has advised. However, I would personally omit the comma after "ordered."
     
  7. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    There would need to either be a comma after "hands" or "as" would need to be capitalized. But in either situation the sentence reads weird rearranged this way.

    This is correct.

    There needs to be a comma after "on" if you are going to use a dialogue tag there.
     
  8. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    Thanks!
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes!... you can't end a line of dialog with a period, if a dialog tag follows it...
     
  10. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    Yup! I see that now. You learn something new every day! :)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you could have learned that [and can learn a lot more], by simply studying the work of good writers... pick up any novel by any well-respected author and you can see how it's done... which is much more effective than being told how...
     

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