Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

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OneSixtySix
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Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby OneSixtySix » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:43 pm

I'm not sure how to present this sentence. I'm leaning towards semi-colon, but am not 100% (or even 70%) sure.

"It was the final step in a process which spanned the entirety of my senior year; my senior thesis was complete."

or

"It was the final step in a process which spanned the entirety of my senior year, my senior thesis was complete.

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Zapatero
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby Zapatero » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:44 pm

The latter is a comma splice. The former is grammatically correct.

Sky'stheLimit
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby Sky'stheLimit » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:46 pm

Why make it confusing? Go with two sentences.

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OneSixtySix
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby OneSixtySix » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:49 pm

Satoren wrote:Why make it confusing? Go with two sentences.


Obviously I considered that (as it would have avoided certain grammatical embarassment on TLS). However, it flowed better as one sentence. Splitting it into two sentences separates the thought, when I wanted that particular mention to be considered in one thought.

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vespertiliovir
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby vespertiliovir » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:54 pm

Honestly, I think that redheaded step child of punctuation -- the colon -- would fit well here :D

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atlantalaw
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby atlantalaw » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:54 pm

semi-colon is the only option; a comma is grammatically incorrect.

thsmthcrmnl
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby thsmthcrmnl » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:22 am

A comma would be incorrect. A semi-colon would be correct. A colon would be good.

Also, it should almost certainly be a "that" and not a "which." You mean it in a restrictive sense.

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OneSixtySix
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby OneSixtySix » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:44 am

thsmthcrmnl wrote:A comma would be incorrect. A semi-colon would be correct. A colon would be good.

Also, it should almost certainly be a "that" and not a "which." You mean it in a restrictive sense.


I'm awful at grammar.

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jonas586
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby jonas586 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:42 am

I think your grammatical problem comes from the awkwardness of your sentence. It seems like you are conjoining two clauses that aren't necessarily related. In the first clause you talk about a "final step" that spanned the entirety of your senior year, but instead of identifying what this final step is, which would seem to follow logically, you abruptly change focus to the completion of your senior thesis.

I can see how these two things might be related, but to me, they need to be tied together better, or given their own sentences. Of course, I can't see how the sentence fits with the rest of the paper, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:46 am

:

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summerstar
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby summerstar » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:49 am

jonas586 wrote:I think your grammatical problem comes from the awkwardness of your sentence. It seems like you are conjoining two clauses that aren't necessarily related. In the first clause you talk about a "final step" that spanned the entirety of your senior year, but instead of identifying what this final step is, which would seem to follow logically, you abruptly change focus to the completion of your senior thesis.

I can see how these two things might be related, but to me, they need to be tied together better, or given their own sentences. Of course, I can't see how the sentence fits with the rest of the paper, so take my advice with a grain of salt.


You are referring to a final step you must have previously identified. IMHO you should change "which" for "that" and as a second sentence, write: "My senior thesis was now complete."

yeff
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby yeff » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:52 am

Just MHO, but why not ditch your slippery "to be" verb "was" and use an active verb instead?

How about something like:

"With it, I completed the final step in the year-long creation of my senior thesis."

Now, you may have chosen the original sentence structure in order to highlight the phrase "my senior thesis was complete." If additional flourish is desired, perhaps you might insert "had at last" or "finally" before "completed"?

nycparalegal
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby nycparalegal » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:01 am

yeff wrote:Just MHO, but why not ditch your slippery "to be" verb "was" and use an active verb instead?

How about something like:

"With it, I completed the final step in the year-long creation of my senior thesis."

Now, you may have chosen the original sentence structure in order to highlight the phrase "my senior thesis was complete." If additional flourish is desired, perhaps you might insert "had at last" or "finally" before "completed"?


+1

SandyC877
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Re: Help with grammar usage (comma or semi-colon)

Postby SandyC877 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:27 pm

OneSixtySix wrote:I'm not sure how to present this sentence. I'm leaning towards semi-colon, but am not 100% (or even 70%) sure.

"It was the final step of (sounds better) a process which spanned the entirety of my senior year; my senior thesis was complete."

or

"It was the final step in a process which spanned the entirety of my senior year, my senior thesis was complete.


1st one is correct. dump the 2nd.




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