1. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    with

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by zaffy, Jan 17, 2010.

    Mammamaia, you wrote, in a post, the sentence below ...

    commas do go before 'but' and 'with' and other 'coordinating conjunctions' when introducing an independent clause

    I had not realised 'with' was a conjunction.
    Therefore, is the sentences below, correct?
    At the north end is a park, with a broken seat and a rusty chain.

    To me, the comma does not look right.
     
  2. m5roberts
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    m5roberts Member

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    It's not. It's a preposition.

    Apart from "with" not being a conjunction, "a broken seat and rusty chain" is not an independent clause, as it could not stand alone as a sentence.

    I might put the comma after "At the north end," because it could be considered an introductory phrase. But then, the rules for introductory phrases are not finite.

    However, if you had the word "there" between "end" and "is", you would NEED a comma, because then you would have an inverse sentence, which could read as thus:

    "There is a park with broken seat and rusty chain at the north end."

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    M5roberts,
    Helps lots, thanks.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry for the confusion... i left out:

    commas do go before 'but' and 'with' and other 'coordinating conjunctions' and prepositions, when introducing an independent clause, or prepositional phrase ...

    and 'with' doesn't always need a comma...
    aside from that being nonsensical, since you seem to really mean a swing in the park had a broken seat and rusty chain, that wouldn't need a comma... it depends on the context...

    here's an example of where one would and would not be needed with 'with':

    He appeared in the doorway, with blood on his hands.
    He didn't want to be seen with blood on his hands.
     
  5. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Thank you Mammamaia,
    Very helpful. I am on a learning curve, which, at the moment, seems to be tying me up in knots.
    Yes, I meant swing and not seat.
    At the north end is a park with a broken swing and a rusty chain.
    Grammar rule still applies, I presume.

    Afraid, I have analysed grammar into a knot again.

    Mammamaia, you wrote, as examples, the sentences below.
    He appeared in the doorway, with blood on his hands.
    He didn't want to be seen with blood on his hands.

    Why a comma in one sentence and and not the other?


    Sorry to be slow on the uptake.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in the first sentence, the 'with' phrase is explanatory... it tells us something about the subject/'he'... and if you did not separate it with a comma, it could be a male doorway that had blood on its hands [grammatically], as weird as that may be...

    here's another, more believable one:

    you can see how with no comma [which also causes us to pause], it's the driver who had the bloody hands...

    and in the second sentence, there's no need for a comma, or a pause...
     

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