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Hi.

I have read numerous websites discussing how to punctuate the word so.Here is one of the sites that discussed it, which appeared to be credible.

  1. So is a coordinating conjunction when its meaning is during the time NOT as a result.
    1. The owl paddled, so the monkey slept.
  2. So is a subordinating conjunction when its meaning is in order that, with the purpose that. (It is usually followed by that.)
    1. The owl paddled, so that the monkey might sleep.
  3. So is a conjunctive adverb when its meaning is therefore.
    1. The owl paddled; so it made sense for the monkey to sleep.
However, I have read other peoples opinions which totally go against this.
Could someone tell me if this is correct or not and how it should be written if not like this.

Thanks Emotion: smile
Full Member466
Hi,
Welcome to the Forum.
I have read numerous websites discussing how to punctuate the word so.Here is one of the sites that discussed it, which appeared to be credible.

  1. So is a coordinating conjunction when its meaning is during the time NOT as a result.
    1. The owl paddled, so the monkey slept. This punctuation is fine. But I see this as meaning 'and as a result'.
      It's the same as 'It rained, so I got wet'.

  2. So is a subordinating conjunction when its meaning is in order that, with the purpose that. (It is usually followed by that.)
    1. The owl paddled, so that the monkey might sleep.This punctuation is fine.
  3. So is a conjunctive adverb when its meaning is therefore.
    1. The owl paddled; so it made sense for the monkey to sleep. I'd put a comma after 'so'. My preferred punctuation would be 'The owl paddled. So, it made sense for the monkey to sleep' or I might word it as 'The owl paddled, and so it made sense for the monkey to sleep'.
Best wishes, Clive
Veteran Member69,365
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Thanks.

I try to use the word therefore to avoid my uncertainty when punctuating the word 'so'; however, 'therefore' used with a semicolon and a comma can disrupt the flow of a sentence- highlighting my quandary!!!

I am beginning to believe it may be a matter of personal preference. I have websites telling me that 'so' is a part of FANBOYS- the seven coordinating conjunctions, which have a comma preceeding them when they join two independent clauses. I use the word so rather frequently, and I would love to think I could use a comma regardless of its meaning as it is less tiresome than using a semicolon at times.

I try to use the word therefore to avoid my uncertainty; however, 'therefore' used with a semicolon and a comma can disrupt the flow of a sentence- highlighting my quandary!!!

I do agree with you that in this case, 'it rained, so I got wet' so means as a result and is basically synonmous with 'during the time'

Any further comments are appreciated.
Hi,
If they are causing you a bit of trouble, you might find it simpler never to use semi-colons. I never do.

I do agree with you that in this case, 'it rained, so I got wet' so means as a result <<< Yes and is basically synonmous with 'during the time'

I fail to see that this sentence can be reworded as 'It rained (,) during the time I got wet'. Perhaps I am misunderstanding your thought?

Best wishes again, Clive
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Sorry, I made it unclear.

I was refering to this:

So is a coordinating conjunction when its meaning is during the time NOT as a result.
The owl paddled, so the monkey slept. This punctuation is fine. But I see this as meaning 'and as a result'.
It's the same as 'It rained, so I got wet'.

I agree with what you have said- tha the example they give appears to be 'as a resul.'

I have no trouble using semicolons to be honest. It is just this one word that has created ambiguity for me because I have been told many different things from different sources.

Some say that 'so' is always punctuated with a comma when it joins two independent clauses; however, as this site shows, 'so' is punctuated differently depending on its meaning.
Hi,

So, you have no more questions about this?

Clive
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Hi,

Yes, that is all thanks. I think the variety of answers I have received on this issue suggests that flexibility is permissible. I will probably refrain from using the semicolon to join the two clauses when 'so' means therefore or as a result. I think I will utilise the conventional methods where a comma is used regardless of what so means. That is, I will use a comma in all three cases rather than the semicolon as shown below.

  1. So is a coordinating conjunction when its meaning is during the time NOT as a result.
    1. The owl paddled, so the monkey slept.
  2. So is a subordinating conjunction when its meaning is in order that, with the purpose that. (It is usually followed by that.)
    1. The owl paddled, so that the monkey might sleep.
  3. So is a conjunctive adverb when its meaning is therefore.
    1. The owl paddled; so it made sense for the monkey to sleep.
I was wonding what method you resort to. Therefore is probably better in formal prose, but sometimes so creates flow, so I was wondering how you punctuate so.

How do you, personally?
Hi,
If I feel that punctuation is required, I usually just use a comma. In the case of 'therefore', I'd usually use a period or 'and'.

Clive
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Anonymous:
I'm inclinded to agree. It works like a run-on sentence if you add a comma.
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