1. Agent Vatani
    Offline

    Agent Vatani Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    In the land of writing

    Grammar questions

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Agent Vatani, Jan 3, 2011.

    My grammar is weak, so as I writer I wish to make it stronger.

    1. How many (,) is to much? I normally only put 3 in a sentence.

    2. How many (ands) is to much? I normally only put two in a sentence.

    3. What's the different with : and ;?

    Some grammar question, all answers are thanked. Thanks for your time.
    (I feel bad for asking and not answering others...)
     
  2. xxkozxx
    Offline

    xxkozxx Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    1. You have too many commas when it becomes a completely long runon sentence strung together with phrases and whatnot. It really depends on how the sentences are structured.

    2. Well you don't want to keep a sentence going with she said and he said and they did and we will be and so on and so on...

    3. a colon is used to designate a list that follows. For example: Agent Vatani has asked the following questions: blah, blah, and blah. a semicolon is typically used to link two thoughts together that could stand alone as separate sentences.
     
  3. Nilfiry
    Offline

    Nilfiry Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Eternal Stream
    In my opinion, there is really no basis for what is too much, but I can easily write a good sentence, or at least decent one, with 10 commas by including a list, a parenthetical element, and two compound-complex sentences joined by a conjunctive adverb; nevertheless, unless you are just trying to be silly, it is best to just not think about it, for you are more likely to make many, many mistakes if you think about it too much.

    You should use as many as you need. The important thing to keep in mind is whether or not you are using the commas correctly. In most cases, you probably will not be using that many anyway unless you were purposely trying to.

    Again, it is more important that you worry about using them correctly.

    I washed the dishes with a sponge and soap, dried them with towels and napkins, and placed them in cabinets and drawers, and I was rewarded with cookies and cream for my hard and meticulous work.

    People are more likely to notice misused words than repetitive ones.

    A colon ( : ) is mostly used to set off a list. Keep in mind that you should avoid using a colon after a verb if you are using it this way.

    I bought a few things today: soap, cereal, and napkins.
    - Correct
    Today, I bought: soap, cereal, and napkins. - Incorrect.

    A Colon is also used to introduce something, such as an explanation for a fact stated before, an apposition, and a direct speech.

    There was only one reason for these events: we have ghosts.
    He cannot reply: he is mute.
    I have nice quotes too: happiness is weaved by a canon.

    The colon has many uses. If ever in doubt, a little research would help.

    The semicolon ( ; ) is mostly used to join two independent clauses, sometimes with a conjunctive adverb.

    I cannot see; I need my glasses.
    This is a sentence; furthermore, it is a short sentence.


    Another use for the semicolon is to separate items in a list that already have commas.

    I went to Atlanta, Georgia; Salem, Oregon; and Phoenix, Arizona.

    Naturally, both of these marks have other uses, but these tend to be the most common ones.
     
  4. Agent Vatani
    Offline

    Agent Vatani Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    In the land of writing
    Thanks :D
     
  5. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    It's a matter of style. Some people have a very terse style and will hardly use any commas. Some will have a style that uses a lot of long sentences that will need more commas.
    Again it's a matter of style, but if there's more than one in a sentence I would probably wonder whether to rewrite.
    The best description I have come across for the colon is this: that what comes after it delivers on a promise made before it. That covers its use to introduce a list; it covers most of its other uses too. And as others have pointed out, a semicolon is usually used where a full stop would do but the writer wants to connect the two thoughts more strongly.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    it's not useful to have a number limit or standard, because how many commas are needed will always depend on the length and content of the sentence...

    same thing applies there... but a minimum is usually best... if you find too many, then you've probably got an over-crammed sentence that should be divided into more than one...

    you should look them up in a good punctuation guide... here's the one i use, with details on ; and : and , usage:

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/566/01/
     

Share This Page