+0
I'll be there for a while, to check out the criminal underworld and what not, maybe get myself into banking.

Is this sentence OK?

Is the phase in bold the second infinitive phrase without the particle 'to' to avoid repetition:

"to check out the criminal underword and what not, (and) maybe (to) get myself into banking.

Thank you
1 2
Comments  
English 1b3I'll be there for a while, to check out the criminal underworld and what not, maybe get myself into banking.

Is this sentence OK?
As a very casual and rambling thing to say very informally, it's OK, though it would need to be revised for formal use.
English 1b3Is the phase in bold the second infinitive phrase without the particle 'to' to avoid repetition:

"to check out the criminal underword and what not, (and) maybe (to) get myself into banking.
That is one possible interpretation. Another is to see the phrase in bold as a parallel to I'll be there:

I'll be there for a while, to check out ... and what not; (and) maybe (I'll) get myself into banking.

CJ
As a very casual and rambling thing to say very informally, it's OK, though it would need to be revised for formal use

Thanks, but I don't understand why it isn't acceptable for formal writing?

What needs to be revised; what is wong with it?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
English 1b3what is wrong with it?
I'll be there for a while, to check out the criminal underworld and what not, maybe get myself into banking.

It's two sentences in one. The second sentence (or fragment of a sentence) starts at maybe. The technical name of the error is "comma splice". To transform it from casual speech to formal writing, you would need something like this:

I'll be there for a while to check out the criminal underworld and what not. Maybe I'll get myself into banking [as well / while I'm there].

Here's a particularly bad case of comma splices and fragments.

I got hungry, I went into the kitchen, there was some peanut butter, I couldn't find any jelly, I decided not to have a sandwich, maybe fry some eggs, couldn't find eggs either, ate some cookies.

CJ
Hi again, CJ

I'm aware of the term comma splice and have always avoided the offence in writing. Two main clauses cannot be joined by a comma. Use a semicolon or a period. It's grammar that I even know.

However, I don't see why you regard this as having two main clauses.

I'll be there for a while, and will get myself into banking.

This is just a compound predicate. The only difference here is that 'maybe' isn't inserted and the modal 'will' has been repeated.

Do you see where I'm coming from?

Cheers
English 1b3Do you see where I'm coming from?
Yes. The absence of "and" (before "maybe") in the original sentence doesn't seem to bother you. It bothers me. Emotion: smile

CJ
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I'll be there for a while, to check out the criminal underworld and what not, maybe get myself into banking.



I'll be there for a while, to check out the criminal underworld and what not, and maybe get myself into banking.

Ok, so the second version you are happy with. It has a compound predicate joined by and.

I was under the impression (I was told by someone) that a compound predicate can exist without a comma, as long as the predicates express a similar thought, i.e. if the second is an ellucidation of the first verb phrase.

There appears to be some sense to this, since this is how people speak.

Your thoughts on this would be good. Cheers.
Greetings,

briefly:

1. 'Being okay' is not a completely relevant term for linguistic discussion as different, completely dissimilar factors come into play when assessing any utterance. Thus, talking about grammatical composition, one may assume the sentence to be faulty (if one accepts the idea of the so-called comma splice); looking at the meaning of words, one will probably find nothing that deviates from the norm; finally, considering pragmatic aspects of the sentence, one may feel unsure about giving a definitive answer, since the relationship between the speaker and the addressee remains enigmatic.

2. Is the phase in bold the second infinitive phrase without the particle 'to' to avoid repetition:

"to check out the criminal underword and what not, (and) maybe (to) get myself into banking.

- while some interpretations are plausible, others are not. Yours (highlighted in blue) is approaching the erroneous side of the spectrum. If you carefully consider the whole structure, the fact that 'and what not' is equivalent to 'etc.' will not escape your attention. Therefore, it can logically be presumed that this expression should embrace every other item connected with 'checking out the criminal underworld'. In summa: the underlined part must refer to something else to be truly meaningful, and this yet unknown entity is not hard to find given the relative simplicity of the sentence - it is I'll be there for a while.

3. 'Compound predicate' - I have already described the confusion that this term may bring by blending completely different notions of form and function. Without much effort, you may find further information in earlier posts or elsewhere in specialist literature, so I am not going to spell it out. The correct term for the constructions in question is coordinated predications: I'll [be there for a while] + [maybe get myself into banking]. NB: this term is only relevant if you regard the whole utterance as a single clause, not as two clauses one of which underwent ellipsis of subject + operator.

4. Finally, the question is how to perceive the structure. Should it be classified as a single sentence or as two sentences joined by way of comma splice in spontaneous discourse? What is doubtlessly known is that the structure features polypredication (described in earlier posts), and it is always not simple from this technical point of view (I will be there for a while + I will maybe get myself into banking: these are the propositions packed into the sentence). We deal with simple coordination in this instance, which prompts me that there are advantages in adopting the 'coordinated predications' approach. However, given that the whole exerpt obviously comes from a conversational realm (which is signalled by lexical indicators <and what not>, pausation showing spontaneity <before 'to check'>, contractions, etc.), and keeping in mind, too, that no coordinator appears before and (which would be a knock-down argument in favour of 'coordinate predications' interpretation), I tend to think that the whole structure is a somewhat poorly constructed set of two sentences, the second beginning with I will maybe... One should remember, though, that conversation extracts are hard to analyse because they avoid elaboration and specification of meaning.

A concluding remark:

'Two main clauses cannot be joined by a comma. Use a semicolon or a period. It's grammar that I even know.' -

not really. Cf:

I came, I saw, I conquered. <for literary effect in linking a series of (often three) short sentences>

That's all for now. I will hopefully hear from you soon.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
English 1b3There appears to be some sense to this, since this is how people speak.
No doubt! But you had asked what needs to change to be acceptable in formal writing, which is generally quite different from our rambling, real-life speaking.

I also don't see how getting into banking is connected to checking out the criminal element -- it doesn't seem to be an elucidation of the first part. Compared to something like "I've got to go to the store, pick up a few things," I can't see a direct connection here.

I'm with CJ on the need for that "and."

However, if you are writing dialogue, you have have written something that sounds very real.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more