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  1. #1
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    Default Should there be a comma here?

    Hi,
    Please have a look at this sentence:

    The teacher repeated the assignment for the student, since they had difficulty understanding what to do after he had explained it the first time

    1. Should there really be a comma here? Is it ok if we omit it? and what's the difference between the two versions?
    2. Can we use "after he explained" instead of "after we had explained" here?

    Many thanks in advance
    Newbie.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie View Post
    Hi,
    Please have a look at this sentence:

    The teacher repeated the assignment for the students, since they had difficulty understanding what to do after he had explained it the first time

    1. Should there really be a comma here? Is it ok if we omit it? and what's the difference between the two versions? You could omit it, and there would be no difference in meaning.
    2. Can we use "after he explained" instead of "after he had explained" here? Not really, since it is an action [the explaining] performed before another action [the repeating] in the past.

    Many thanks in advance
    Newbie.
    .

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    Thanks a lot, Anglika :)
    About the first question, I'm just a bit confused when the comma is used compulsorily, when must not be used, or when it is all right both to use and not to use. Take this sentence as an example. Usually I use it without a comma, and I always think that's the most accurate usage, so I'm just... confused. By the way, if "since" is replaced with "because of", will the answer for question 1 remain the same?

    As for the second question, you typed "not really". So... do you imply there is still some possible usage? Such as in spoken English or informal English?

    Many thanks once again
    Newbie. :)

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    .
    The comma should be there but I think it should read;

    The teacher repeated the assignment for the students, since they had had difficulty understanding what to do after he had explained it the first time.

  5. #5
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    The comma should be there but I think it should read;

    The teacher repeated the assignment for the students, since they had had difficulty understanding what to do after he had explained it the first time.
    I agree with had had...had.

    About the comma, what if since means because?

    because/since


    Avoid using since to indicate causality; because is the clearer causal indicator. Use since to indicate lapse of time.
    The phytoplankton population increased rapidly because the light source intensified.

    Four hours have passed since the light source first began to intensify.

    because/since

    ___________________________

    because, since

    Both words can be used to mean "for the reason that." Because is the stronger conjunction for pointing out a direct cause-effect relationship: They went to the concert because they had been given tickets. Since is milder in suggesting a cause-effect relationship: Since I love folk music, I went to the concert.

    Garbl's Editorial Style Manual: B

    ____________________________


    1. I left the party early ___________ I was feeling a bit tired.

    a) because
    b) as
    c) since
    d) all of the answers above

    a) You can use because, since or as – but note that when we use as or since, the reason
    (feeling tired) is often already known to the person listening.

    b) You can use because, since or as – but note that when we use as or since, the reason
    (feeling tired) is often already known to the person listening.

    c) You can use because, since or as – but note that when we use as or since, the reason
    (feeling tired) is often already known to the person listening.

    d) You can use because, since or as – but note that when we use as or since,
    the reason (feeling tired) is often known to the person listening.

    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/worldserv...and_result.pdf

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie View Post
    The teacher repeated the assignment for the student, since they had difficulty understanding what to do after he had explained it the first time
    It should be:
    The teacher repeated the assignment for the students, because they had difficulty understanding what to do after he explained it the first time.

  7. #7
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    It should be:
    The teacher repeated the assignment for the students, because they had difficulty understanding what to do after he explained it the first time.
    No comma.
    A comma is not always needed before because. Negative wording, however, often need the comma to clarify which part of the sentence because modifies, as in these examples:

    He didn't go to the workshop, because it conflicted with his work schedule.

    He didn't go to the workshop because he had to; he went to it because it met his needs.

    In the first example, you can drop the clause, and the sentence is still true. In the second example, the sentence's meaning depends on the clause.

    Source

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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    No comma.
    A comma is not always needed before because. Negative wording, however, often need the comma to clarify which part of the sentence because modifies, as in these examples:

    He didn't go to the workshop, because it conflicted with his work schedule.

    He didn't go to the workshop because he had to; he went to it because it met his needs.

    In the first example, you can drop the clause, and the sentence is still true. In the second example, the sentence's meaning depends on the clause.

    Source
    It is not essential, but I use it there to indicate a pause (probable).

    (Should we be arguing in front of the kids? )

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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    Can we say:
    because they had difficulty IN understanding what to do after he explained it the first time.
    instead of:
    because they had difficulty understanding what to do after he explained it the first time.


    What is the difference between these sentences?

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    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Should there be a comma here?

    not a teacher

    1. because they had difficulty IN understanding what to do after he explained it the first time.

    2. because they had difficulty understanding what to do after he explained it the first time.

    Both are correct but I think the preposition 'in' serves to highlight or emphasize the word understanding in No. 1.

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