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Thread: Comma Splices

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    Comma Splices

    I know I'm a native speaker but I just recieved a low grade on an essay due to comma splicing. How do I not end up with them in my essays? My teacher said that English might as well be my second language with the grammar mistakes that I make. Thanks![/i]

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    Re: Comma Splices

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberryfynch
    I know I'm a native speaker but I just recieved a low grade on an essay due to comma splicing. How do I not end up with them in my essays? My teacher said that English might as well be my second language with the grammar mistakes that I make. Thanks![/i]
    Tough question. I'd have to see a writing sample to be specific, but if you end up with too many commas try re-writing some sentences to make them flow with fewer commas.

    Try focusing for a while on the subjects of your sentences to see if you can always make it perfectly clear WHO is doing the action. I suppose you could also check some grammar books for comma rules and focus on identifying errors you are prone to make.

    Good luck on your school work.

  3. #3
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    Re: Comma Splices

    Most comma usage should feel natural like if you were speaking. If you pause in the sentence, then you should use a comma. (as you see here. say the sentence out loud.)

    Correct use: I am speaking on the phone right now, but I will talk to you later.

    Just practice reading the sentences out loud and if you feel a natural pause, then put a comma. If all else fails just omit the comma and the teacher can send you in the right direction.
    please correct my russian

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    Re: Comma Splices

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberryfynch
    I just recieved a low grade on an essay due to comma splicing. How do I not end up with them in my essays?
    I'm afraid you are going to need a tutor to work with in person on that. It's not something that can be explained in a few sentences in a language forum. You are going to have to learn the difference between coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions, independent clauses and dependent clauses.

    The most common comma-splice error is when you take two complete sentences in English and put them together with a comma but no "and/but/or:"

    I got up late this morning, my alarm clock didn't go off.

    Since each part can be an independent sentence, you can't join them with a comma. You must either write them as two sentences or combine them with a conjunction. For a first and dirty explanation, go here: http://grammartips.homestead.com/splice.html.

    One last trick is that the rules they teach you for commas in freshmen English and writing research papers are not the same as the comma rules applied in popular novels. There editors apply a different standard. Comma splices are allowed in Russian, so that further complicates the issue when you start comparing the languges.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Re: Comma Splices

    don,
    a conjunction or other punctuation mark, in your example.

    I got up late this morning -- my alarm clock didn't go off.

    I *almost* think you could use a semicolon, but does not seem quite right here.

    Also remember, strawberryfynch, not to put a comma between a subject and its verb. Two commas surrounding a phrase is ok though. Viz -- Women, who are bad drivers, should not be allowed to drive.

    Compare it with: Women who are bad drivers should not be allowed to drive. And that goes for colorless green ideas sleeping furiously as well. =:^0

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    Re: Comma Splices

    Chaika, your point is well taken, but sometimes it's good to start with simple explanations and examples for someone just beginning to deal with a topic.

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