Hello, again. I have 9 questions this time. Brace for impact.

QUESTION 1: I have a question concerning the linking of 2 complete sentences with a comma. I know that it is correct to do this; however, consider that the 1st complete sentence actually consists of a dependent clause followed by an independent clause (a complex sentence), and (did I need the comma before "and"?) that the 2nd complete sentence is simply a complete sentence. To visualize:

1st sentence:
As for your feelings about concealed gun carry, you are right that there is going to be controversy.*

*Sentence 1 is a complete sentence consisting of an independent and dependent clause.

2nd sentence:
I like your proposition that weapon possession should be granted on a conditional basis.**

**Sentence 2 is a complete sentence as well, but without the clauses.

I am aware that normally, you can fuse 2 sentences that each have their own subject and verb using a comma. My question is whether or not you can do the same adjoining of sentences with a comma if the first sentence is a complex one. It may or may not sound like 3 sentences, sort of.

In other words, is the following sentence correct?

"As for your feelings about concealed gun carry, you are right that there is going to be controversy, but I like your proposition that weapon possession should be granted on a conditional basis."

QUESTION 2: This question is about the placement of punctuation within or without quotation marks. I know that there is ongoing debate about this issue. Do periods, commas, SEMICOLONS, and EM DASHES usually belong inside or outside of the quotation marks?***

***If this issue has been addressed already (and it likely has), would you refer me to the thread that has dealt with it? I looked for several pages but found no post similar to mine concerning this.

I will present a few examples.

A.)
I call this place the "Labyrinth"; it is a colossal maze of twists and turns.
I call this place the "Labyrinth;" it is a colossal maze of twists and turns.
Controversy: The semicolon is not part of the nickname given to the maze, but many professors teach that it should unconditionally remain within the quotation marks. Which is it?

B.)
Rather than calling him by his real name, I usually call my son by the nickname "Rascal".
Rather than calling him by his real name, I usually call my son by the nickname "Rascal."
Controversy: I recently read a highly-publicized letter using the first sentence. This issue is similar to Point A, except the punctuation mark is terminal.

C.)
It was explained that "the degree of calcium release is proportional to the degree of muscle fiber stretch" (Zatsiorsky 79).
It was explained that "the degree of calcium release is proportional to the degree of muscle fiber stretch." (Zatsiorsky 79)
It was explained that "the degree of calcium release is proportional to the degree of muscle fiber stretch". (Zatsiorsky 79)
Controversy: Oh, dear. I personally continue to use the first sentence, but I was never confident about it. I am never marked off by my professors when I use this technique, and so for the sake of a good grade, I adhere to it. However, is there a more correct way to do this?

D.)
I call this place the "Labyrinth"— a place that I have made my home.
I call this place the "Labyrinth—" a place that I have made my home.
Which is correct?

QUESTION 3: This question deals with what might potentially be hypercorrection due to excessive use of commas.

Example:
I find that I tend to get better grades when I kiss up to my teacher, and so for the sake of securing a good grade, I bring them apples daily.
I find that I tend to get better grades when I kiss up to my teacher, and so, for the sake of securing a good grade, I bring them apples daily.
Controversy: This format is used a lot.

Another example:
I and anyone else who shares my passion will understand.
I, and anyone else who shares my passion, will understand.

One more example of potential overuse of commas:
Adults tend to overeat after work, and consequently they gain weight.
Adults tend to overeat after work, and consequently, they gain weight.

QUESTION 4: This is actually a paste of the third sentence in this post.*

I know that it is correct to do this; however, consider that the 1st complete sentence actually consists of a dependent clause followed by an independent clause (a complex sentence), and that the 2nd complete sentence is simply a complete sentence.
I know that it is correct to do this; however, consider that the 1st complete sentence actually consists of a dependent clause followed by an independent clause (a complex sentence) and that the 2nd complete sentence is simply a complete sentence.

*Notice the subtlety? I omitted the comma before "and" towards the end of the second sentence. This is the issue I have had in countless instances, and it has impeded my writing because I won't move on until I figure out which is correct. Should the comma be there or not? Can it be argued that since there is no new subject being introduced, that (did I need that comma before "that"?) there is no need to add a comma since there is no new sentence?

QUESTION 5: Examples are given below.

"I was wondering if it was still there."
"I was wondering if it were still there."
*Since "wondering" implies doubt and uncertainty, should the sentence follow the same rule as when "if" is present? "Were" is normally used ("I wish he were here" or "if only he were here").

"I was wondering if she still lives there."
"I was wondering if she still lived there."
*This might be conditional, which would make both sentences correct. The first sentence implies that the woman could possibly continue to live in the same house, which explains why it is in the present tense. But isn't there a rule about verb-tense agreement among all verbs in a sentence? Namely, if one verb is in the past tense, then all verbs in that same sentence should also be in the past tense to prevent inconsistency?

Example:
"I wanted to know if you still tutored students" versus "I wanted to know if you still tutor students."
*The first sentence has both verbs in the past tense ("wanted" and "tutored"), and the second sentence has one verb in the past tense (wanted) and the other in the present (tutor). Although the second sentence sounds more correct and correctly assumes that the tutor continues to help students, isn't there a rule stating that all verb tenses across the same sentence need to be consistent (which would require that "tutor' be changed to "tutored" so that both verbs are now in the past tense)?

QUESTION 6: Should long-winded parenthetical inserts with multiple sentences end with a period within the parentheses IN ADDITION to the period outside the parentheses?

Normally, you will see this:
I gave my friend twenty dollars (which I expected him to pay back to me with interest).

But what about the case of a very long and descriptive parenthetical insert? Should it end with a period within the parentheses as well as outside?

Example:
I gave my friend twenty dollars (which I expected him to pay back to me with interest. It may sound cold, but I'm a businessman.).

Also, in the case of multiple sentences within the parenthetical insert, should the first letter of the first word alternatively be capitalized?

Example:
I gave my friend twenty dollars (Which I expected him to pay back to me with interest. It may sound cold, but i'm a businessman.).

QUESTION 7: I know that commas are required before a person is quoted.

Example:
He turned to him and shouted, "Come here!"

But is this the case for the titles of books, movies, and other works (I am forgetting my elementary school grammar)?

Examples:
I am writing a book entitled, "Large World."
I am writing a book entitled "Large World."

QUESTION 8: A week ago, I wrote an article entitled "The Frequent-Eating Fallacy."

I have read that when the compound modifier precedes the noun, that the words are hyphenated.
I have read that when the compound modifier precedes the noun that the words are hyphenated. But if I were to entitle the book "The Fallacy of Frequent Eating," the hyphen is no longer necessary because the modifier is no longer a modifier and is now part of the prepositional phrase. Is this way of thinking correct?

QUESTION 9: I entered the room with the disco ball, which was very dirty.

What I am trying to say is that the room, not the disco ball, is dirty. Would it be clear to the reader that the appositive ("which was very dirty") is clearly describing the room? After all, the disco ball is part of the prepositional phrase and is not actually the object. Or should I re-order the sentence so that it reads, "I entered the room, which was very dirty, containing the disco ball"?

Usually, you would see a sentence like this:
I saluted the old man, who was a former general.
*In this case, there is no ambiguity concerning who the appositive is describing, but consider this sentence:
"I saluted the old man on his bike, who was a former general."

I am so very sorry for the over-analysis, but I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing, which I'm pretty sure is borderline pathological behavior.

-rozarria
New Member26
Hi,

I have 9 questions this time. Brace for impact.

QUESTION 1: I have a question concerning the linking of 2 complete sentences with a comma. I know that it is correct to do this; however, consider that the 1st complete sentence actually consists of a dependent clause followed by an independent clause (a complex sentence), and (did I need the comma before "and"?) that the 2nd complete sentence is simply a complete sentence. To visualize:

1st sentence:
As for your feelings about concealed gun carry, you are right that there is going to be controversy.*

*Sentence 1 is a complete sentence consisting of an independent and dependent clause.

2nd sentence:
I like your proposition that weapon possession should be granted on a conditional basis.**

**Sentence 2 is a complete sentence as well, but without the clauses.

I am aware that normally, you can fuse 2 sentences that each have their own subject and verb using a comma. No, you can't just join two sentences with a comma. In your example below, you have added 'but', which is fine.
My question is whether or not you can do the same adjoining of sentences with a comma if the first sentence is a complex one. It may or may not sound like 3 sentences, sort of.

In other words, is the following sentence correct?

"As for your feelings about concealed gun carry, you are right that there is going to be controversy, but I like your proposition that weapon possession should be granted on a conditional basis."

I just recently answered a very similar question in another thread. Was that also posed by you?

QUESTION 2: This question is about the placement of punctuation within or without quotation marks. I know that there is ongoing debate about this issue. Do periods, commas, SEMICOLONS, and EM DASHES usually belong inside or outside of the quotation marks?***

***If this issue has been addressed already (and it likely has), would you refer me to the thread that has dealt with it? I looked for several pages but found no post similar to mine concerning this.

I will present a few examples.

A.)
I call this place the "Labyrinth"; it is a colossal maze of twists and turns.
I call this place the "Labyrinth;" it is a colossal maze of twists and turns.
Controversy: The semicolon is not part of the nickname given to the maze, but many professors teach that it should unconditionally remain within the quotation marks. Which is it?

B.)
Rather than calling him by his real name, I usually call my son by the nickname "Rascal".
Rather than calling him by his real name, I usually call my son by the nickname "Rascal."
Controversy: I recently read a highly-publicized letter using the first sentence. This issue is similar to Point A, except the punctuation mark is terminal.

C.)
It was explained that "the degree of calcium release is proportional to the degree of muscle fiber stretch" (Zatsiorsky 79).
It was explained that "the degree of calcium release is proportional to the degree of muscle fiber stretch." (Zatsiorsky 79)
It was explained that "the degree of calcium release is proportional to the degree of muscle fiber stretch". (Zatsiorsky 79)
Controversy: Oh, dear. I personally continue to use the first sentence, but I was never confident about it. I am never marked off by my professors when I use this technique, and so for the sake of a good grade, I adhere to it. However, is there a more correct way to do this?

D.)
I call this place the "Labyrinth" Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 — a place that I have made my home.
I call this place the "Labyrinth Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 —" a place that I have made my home.
Which is correct?

I won't comment on the above, because I would just tell you what I would do. There are various style guides that deal with this kind of thing, that I'm not familiar with.

QUESTION 3: This question deals with what might potentially be hypercorrection due to excessive use of commas. I'm not exactly sure what your question is, so I'll just offer comments on your examples.

Example:
I find that I tend to get better grades when I kiss up to my teachers, and so for the sake of securing a good grade, I bring them apples daily. Say 'teachers /them' or 'teacher/him'.
I find that I tend to get better grades when I kiss up to my teacher, and so, for the sake of securing a good grade, I bring them apples daily.
Controversy: This format is used a lot.
I wouldn't accept #1 above.
#2 is OK.
I'd also accept
#3 I find that I tend to get better grades when I kiss up to my teacher, and so for the sake of securing a good grade I bring them apples daily.
#4 I find that I tend to get better grades when I kiss up to my teacher and so, for the sake of securing a good grade, I bring them apples daily.
#5 I find that I tend to get better grades when I kiss up to my teacher, and so for the sake of securing a good grade I bring them apples daily.

I favour #4.

I'd take a similar approach to your following examples.

Another example:
I and anyone else who shares my passion will understand.
I, and anyone else who shares my passion, will understand.

One more example of potential overuse of commas:
Adults tend to overeat after work, and consequently they gain weight.
Adults tend to overeat after work, and consequently, they gain weight.

QUESTION 4: This is actually a paste of the third sentence in this post.*

I know that it is correct to do this; however, consider that the 1st complete sentence actually consists of a dependent clause followed by an independent clause (a complex sentence), and that the 2nd complete sentence is simply a complete sentence. This red part sounds odd. Perhaps you mean the 2nd complete sentence is a simple complete sentence?
I know that it is correct to do this; however, consider that the 1st complete sentence actually consists of a dependent clause followed by an independent clause (a complex sentence) and that the 2nd complete sentence is simply a complete sentence.

*Notice the subtlety? I omitted the comma before "and" towards the end of the second sentence. This is the issue I have had in countless instances, and it has impeded my writing because I won't move on until I figure out which is correct. Should the comma be there or not? Can it be argued that since there is no new subject being introduced, that (did I need that comma before "that"?) there is no need to add a comma since there is no new sentence?
You're getting too caught up in analysis. The bottom line is whether you think the comma will help the reader to understand your sentence.

This is getting too long. I'll try to address your remaing queries in another post, unless someone beats me to it.

Next time, please don't post so many long questions in a single thread, as replying gets a bit unwieldy.

Best wishes, Clive
Veteran Member69,517
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Hi,
Seems a bit like nobody cares for these long questions.

QUESTION 5: Examples are given below.

"I was wondering if it was still there."
"I was wondering if it were still there."
*Since "wondering" implies doubt and uncertainty, should the sentence follow the same rule as when "if" is present? "Were" is normally used ("I wish he were here" or "if only he were here").
Both forms seem OK to me

"I was wondering if she still lives there."
"I was wondering if she still lived there."
*This might be conditional, which would make both sentences correct. Yes. The first sentence implies that the woman could possibly continue to live in the same house, which explains why it is in the present tense. Yes.

But isn't there a rule about verb-tense agreement among all verbs in a sentence? Namely, if one verb is in the past tense, then all verbs in that same sentence should also be in the past tense to prevent inconsistency?You mean I can't say "I loved you yesterday and I will love you tomorrow"? Sure I can.

Example:
"I wanted to know if you still tutored students" versus "I wanted to know if you still tutor students."
*The first sentence has both verbs in the past tense ("wanted" and "tutored"), and the second sentence has one verb in the past tense (wanted) and the other in the present (tutor). Although the second sentence sounds more correct and correctly assumes that the tutor continues to help students, isn't there a rule stating that all verb tenses across the same sentence need to be consistent (which would require that "tutor' be changed to "tutored" so that both verbs are now in the past tense)? Same comment as above.

QUESTION 6: Should long-winded parenthetical inserts with multiple sentences end with a period within the parentheses IN ADDITION to the period outside the parentheses?

Normally, you will see this:
I gave my friend twenty dollars (which I expected him to pay back to me with interest). This seems OK to me.

But what about the case of a very long and descriptive parenthetical insert? Should it end with a period within the parentheses as well as outside?

Example:
I gave my friend twenty dollars (which I expected him to pay back to me with interest. It may sound cold, but I'm a businessman.).

Also, in the case of multiple sentences within the parenthetical insert, should the first letter of the first word alternatively be capitalized?

Example:
I gave my friend twenty dollars (Which I expected him to pay back to me with interest. It may sound cold, but i'm a businessman.).

In my opinion, such lengthy parenthetical inserts are so informal that the normal rules of grammar and punctuation should not really be applied to them. Would you really want to write this way in an exam, or in a business letter?

QUESTION 7: I know that commas are required before a person is quoted.

Example:
He turned to him and shouted, "Come here!"

But is this the case for the titles of books, movies, and other works (I am forgetting my elementary school grammar)?

Examples:
I am writing a book entitled, "Large World."
I am writing a book entitled "Large World."

I don't know what the various style guides recommend, but I wouldn't put a comma.

QUESTION 8: A week ago, I wrote an article entitled "The Frequent-Eating Fallacy."

I have read that when the compound modifier precedes the noun, that the words are hyphenated.
I have read that when the compound modifier precedes the noun that the words are hyphenated. But if I were to entitle the book "The Fallacy of Frequent Eating," the hyphen is no longer necessary because the modifier is no longer a modifier and is now part of the prepositional phrase. Is this way of thinking correct? Yes.

QUESTION 9: I entered the room with the disco ball, which was very dirty.( There's an extra ambiguity here, which I won't discuss further at this time. ie It sounds possible that I was carrying the disco ball when I enered the room. )

What I am trying to say is that the room, not the disco ball, is dirty. Would it be clear to the reader that the appositive ("which was very dirty") is clearly describing the room? No.
After all, the disco ball is part of the prepositional phrase and is not actually the object. Or should I re-order the sentence so that it reads, "I entered the room, which was very dirty, containing the disco ball"? Yes, although I 'd prefer some other phrasing.
eg "I entered the room, which was very dirty and contained the disco ball."
eg "I entered the room containing the disco ball. The room was very dirty." <<<< I prefer this version.

Usually, you would see a sentence like this:
I saluted the old man, who was a former general.
*In this case, there is no ambiguity concerning who the appositive is describing, but consider this sentence:
"I saluted the old man on his bike, who was a former general." Do you really think this suggests that his bike was a former general? 'Who' refers to the last animate noun.

I am so very sorry for the over-analysis, but I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing, which I'm pretty sure is borderline pathological behavior. You'll be right at home on our Forum, then.

Best wishes, Clive

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Thank you so very much for taking the time to answer my entire post, Clive! And I'll be sure to make to make my future posts much shorter. And darnit, you got me again! Of course two sentences are linked with a comma AND a conjunction. Yet another brainfart...

-rozarria
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