I've asked this question before, but the answer was not definitive (I just thought I'd try again) Emotion: smile

a) There are no cars there, just people.

b) There are no sharks, only dolphins.

These are Ok aren't they because they are both the second of two predicates?


c) That doesn't say the latter is wrong, just not the best choice available.

Is this sentence OK, with the phrase in bold present? They aren't predicate nominatives like the two above.

Is it perhaps an ellipsis or comma splice and thus ungrammatical?


Thank you again
No, #3 is not a comma splice. A comma splice is the incorrect joining of two independent clauses. "Just not the best choice available" has no verb and thus cannot be an independent clause. What you are dealing with is another ellipsis, with the comma taking the place of omitted words. "That doesn't say <that> the latter is wrong, just <that it is> not the best choice available."
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Have you a source explaining how a comma can be used to replace omitted words?

Is this another case of it happening perhaps?

Writers with a vague notion about using were instead of was in an if clause sometimes resort to the subjunctive when a clause expresses a condition that may or may not exist, not one known to be contrary to fact.
The general rule on using a comma to replace omitted words is vague. You can do it if the words are implied, if the reader would understand them to have been said. It's a matter of practice. As for the closing example, I believe it is also that use of the comma. The omitted reference is to "a condition." If the sentence seemed unclear, it could have been written: "...when a clause expresses a condition that may or may not exist, rather than <not> a condition known to be contrary to fact."