1. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    Finally! I understand the basic level of comma usage!

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Infinitytruth, Nov 20, 2011.

    Thought I'd post a recent writing achievement.

    Took me a long time to 'get' it, but I finally understand the basic foundation of comma usage. What I should've done was devoted myself to the study of commas. Once I did that, the understanding came more easily.

    I still have issues with the bigger, more complex, sentences. However, I've reached an understanding of the basic level. I now understand why commas are placed in certain places. Took me a long time to finally understand these little demon tricksters.

    Woooohoooooooo! :)
     
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  2. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    It's great to see such enthusiasm!

    In your post you put a comma after "complex", but this isn't necessary. Try reading the full sentence you wrote aloud, pausing at the commas to take a little breath. Then do the same without the comma after "complex".

    I'll write something for you, to show how I use commas:

    It was a hot sunny day when Peter decided, after long deliberation, to look for a new job. He'd had enough of his lazy, arrogant boss, and found the work tedious.

    I didn't put a comma after "hot", but others might. That's because I see "hot" as an adjective describing a "sunny day". If I saw "day" as the object being described, I could write:

    It was a hot, sunny day when Peter.............


    If you keep studying the subject, you'll soon master it! Personal choice comes into it. The important thing is, when writing, to stick with the style you have chosen throughout, and avoiding chopping and changing from one to another.
    So, generally, if you decide at the beginning to opt for a comma between two adjectives, stay with that.

    Publishing houses producing newspapers and magazines give their writers a copy of the house style book. This will tell them, for example, that "Mr" and "Mrs" are to be written without the stop, or vice versa as in "Mr." and "Mrs." Their having a style book means a lot less work for the editors :).
     
  3. pakguy
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    pakguy New Member

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    Hello there.

    I am facing problem while writting any post. It's my dream to become a great writter. No doubt i have fertile brain but the problem is with me that i have lack of knowlesge about the basic grammar and other english communication skills. Please suggest me some good website, books and tips that lead me to my dream. English is my 3rd language.
     
  4. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    You might enjoy this site:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/CCProse


    It's all legal, with dozens of English classics to read and listen to. You have a "pause" button, so you can stop the video at any time to study the text!

    How cool the web!

    Perhaps you should check over the texts of your posts before uploading, and edit out any mistakes you find. You could ask members to point out any remaining mistakes to you. Making sure the spelling is correct, however, should be your responsibility.


    All journeys start with a small step - and a cup of tea with a couple of chocolate biscuits!
     
  5. plaidpants
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    plaidpants New Member

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  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Infinitytruth is treating "more complex" as a parenthetic phrase, so the closing comma is correct. There are other ways the sentence could have been written, but the way it is written is fine.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I salute you, InfinityTruth. It warms my heart when people understand comma usage. :love:

    It is fine, but "more complex" can (and, really, should) be treated as a single adjectival modifier, which means that "... bigger, more complex sentences" would read more easily. Note leafmould's point about reading it aloud while pausing at the commas. It's a good point and should be weighted as such. To reiterate: the current punctuation is technically fine, but structurally and stylistically lacking.
     
  8. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    I must pay more attention to what's going on. This paragraph is an edit, because I posted the following before I read cruciFICTION's contribution prior to this post.



    I very much doubt this.

    He posted that he is very happy to have grasped a basic understanding of the use of commas.

    Would that include proficiency in the use of parenthetic phrasing?

    I suspect it's a fluke that his use of that comma happens to fit the criteria you mention.

    You posted that the sentence was "fine" as written, but I disagree. It's a clumsy sentence as written. I think you mean "technically correct as written", or "fine, technically".

    Luck should play no part in writing.

    The sentence is unbalanced, to my mind, with just the one word after the final comma. Balance could be achieved by replacing the full stop with "which", and continuing with.......whatever one felt suitable.

    Or by rewriting it from scratch.
     
  9. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    Remember to stay calm, everyone :)
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    To my mind that's one of the simplest uses of commas (and one of the few that's the same on both sides of the Atlantic). I'll leave it to Infinitytruth to say whether it was a fluke or not. When somebody has made a breakthrough on basic comma use it seems churlish to complain that their style is lacking, though.
     
  11. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    YAY! You know, I hope that more people will follow your example. It doesn't take long to read through a page or two of comma rules (although I will admit that it's boring...), and it saves a world of troubles. Kudos!
     
  12. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll admit, I wasn't aware that people actually did that to learn how to use commas. I just learned how to use them by being a cool kid.
     
  13. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    Haha. One cool kid you are, my man. Unlike you, however, I couldn't find the pattern on my own...I like to have things spelled out for me. Apparently I'm not up to your standard of awesomeness. ;)

    Believe it or not, though, there are a few grammar helpers out there that don't completely suck.

    Take a look at these comics by The Onion...he defines awesomeness.
    http://theoatmeal.com/tag/grammar
     
  14. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    Ooops! I didn't intend to seem churlish. I've never liked a sentence ending with a single word after a comma, so I included my opinion in my post. I reckon this style doesn't flow well.

    Or perhaps that should be:

    "I don't reckon this style flows well."


    "Reckon" is bad, here, I reckon :). Word abuse, really.
     

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