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  1. linchpin
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    #1

    a comma before then AND

    Sometimes grammar references told us that you cannot put a comma between the two verbs of a double predicate sentence, but I often found that usage in articles in famous websites or newspapers. Could you please tell me whether the following sentences are right or not and why. And another question is whether the two verbs in a double predicate sentence can show two difference tenses. Thanks for your help.

    1) I was passing by, and notice your posting.

    2) The police have installed 2.75 million surveillance cameras since 2003 and are expanding the system into the countryside

    3) we understood to mean that she had reached an impasse, and needed to be lowered.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • American English
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #2

    Re: a comma before then AND

    Quote Originally Posted by linchpin View Post
    Sometimes grammar references told us that you cannot put a comma between the two verbs of a double predicate sentence, but I often found that usage in articles in famous websites or newspapers. Could you please tell me whether the following sentences are right or not and why. And another question is whether the two verbs in a double predicate sentence can show two difference tenses. Thanks for your help.

    1) I was passing by, and noticed your posting.

    2) The police have installed 2.75 million surveillance cameras since 2003 and are expanding the system into the countryside

    3) we understood to mean that she had reached an impasse, and needed to be lowered.
    In the first one, you technically shouldn't put the comma, but if you would pause while saying it, you can get away with it.

    In the second one, it's correct. The police have installed... and [the police] are expanding... You don't need to keep the same tense.

    In the third one, I don't understand the passage. However, the comment about using a comma if you would have a reasonably long pause would apply. Also, she is the subject and agent of the first part, but the subject and recipient of the passive in the second, so the comma does make slightly more sense.

    A strict grammarian would say no comma in any of the three.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #3

    Re: a comma before then AND

    I wouldn't use a comma in either of the two cases where Barb said it would be okay.

    Those commas make me feel like the sentences have the measles --
    it gives me the itchies just to look at them!

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