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    #1

    semicolon

    Is the punctuation in the second sentence correct?

    Sports authorities have instituted their own legislative, executive and judicial bodies. The legislative body regulates the sport in question, the executive body administers the rules and the judicial body enforces them.


    Should the second sentence read:
    The legislative body regulates the sport in question; the executive body administers the rules; and the judicial body enforces them.

    Thanks.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Is the punctuation in the second sentence correct?

    Sports authorities have instituted their own legislative, executive and judicial bodies. The legislative body regulates the sport in question, the executive body administers the rules and the judicial body enforces them.


    Should the second sentence read:
    The legislative body regulates the sport in question; the executive body administers the rules; and the judicial body enforces them.

    Thanks.
    In my opinion the punctuation is fine in the first example. You will never get agreement about punctuation, except in cases where it could change meaning.

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    #3

    Re: semicolon

    My understanding is that if one doesn't use a conjunction to separate independent clauses, one must use a semicolon. This would then mean that there should be a semicolon between "The legislative body regulates the sport in question" and "the executive body administers the rules."

    I don't know how to justify the use of a comma between those two clauses. But putting a comma before "and the judicial body enforces them." would be correct because of the "and."

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: semicolon

    You have a conjunction between the last two elements of the a three-element list, so the commas are fine.

    You would need a semi-colon only if any of the items in the list had their own internal commas.

    You would write: I opened the door, I stepped outside, and I promptly got drenched in the rain.

    You wouldn't write: I opened the door; I stepped outside; and I... etc.

    You would write: I opened the door, forgetting to look out the window; I stepped outside, being careful to shut the door quickly so the cat wouldn't get out; and I promptly got drenched in the rain.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You have a conjunction between the last two elements of the a three-element list, so the commas are fine.

    You would need a semi-colon only if any of the items in the list had their own internal commas.

    You would write: I opened the door, I stepped outside, and I promptly got drenched in the rain.

    You wouldn't write: I opened the door; I stepped outside; and I... etc.

    You would write: I opened the door, forgetting to look out the window; I stepped outside, being careful to shut the door quickly so the cat wouldn't get out; and I promptly got drenched in the rain.
    Thank you for replying.

    One more thing: one does not have to put a comma before "and." Right?

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    #6

    Re: semicolon

    No, but I always do. It's called the serial or Oxford comma. Just be consistent and use it always or not at all.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    No, but I always do. It's called the serial or Oxford comma. Just be consistent and use it always or not at all.
    Does the comma before "and" in the sentence below also function as a serial comma? I think it introduces the last element of a series, namely, the last of the three statements or reminders of "he."

    "In a terse response, he reminds us that the common law was understood in 1789 as a distinct body of law, that it became effective only through reception statutes, and that thus state common law is 'Law' for purposes of the Supremacy Clause."

    Thanks a lot.

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    #8

    Re: semicolon

    Yes, it does. There are three items in that list, and that comma before the final "and" is the serial/Oxford comma.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #9

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    No, but I always do. It's called the serial or Oxford comma. Just be consistent and use it always or not at all.
    As a previous poster mentioned, you will never get agreement when it comes to punctuation! Case in point:

    I don't use the serial comma when the list is of single-word items:
    Sports authorities have instituted their own legislative, executive and judicial bodies.

    HOWEVER, for clarity's sake I do use it when the list includes multi-word items: The legislative body regulates the sport in question, the executive body administers the rules, and the judicial body enforces them.

    In my own little language universe, this is perfectly consistent!

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    #10

    Re: semicolon

    And you should use a serial comma in otherwise ambiguous sentences like:
    "I want to thank my parents, Eleanor Roosevelt and God."

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