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    #1

    semicolon

    Why is it correct to use a comma instead of a semicolon in sentences such as this one:

    The Nets did a good job, they got a good win.

    It was my understanding that two independent clauses can be separated either with a conjunction or a semicolon (perhaps also with a dash).

    Thanks.


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    #2

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Why is it correct to use a comma instead of a semicolon in sentences such as this one:

    The Nets did a good job, they got a good win.

    It was my understanding that two independent clauses can be separated either with a conjunction or a semicolon (perhaps also with a dash).

    Thanks.
    I'm not an English teacher, Jasmin, but I wouldn't have thought that it was more correct to use a comma instead of a semicolon or a hyphen. One of the functions of punctuation is to allow the reader to verbally reproduce the sentence in the way the you, the author, wants it to be said and a semicolon (or hyphen) in this instance would indicate a longer pause between the two clauses than is normally associated with a comma. I'd have more of an issue with the use of the word "got" instead of "had"!

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    #3

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahameBoyd View Post
    I'm not an English teacher, Jasmin, but I wouldn't have thought that it was more correct to use a comma instead of a semicolon or a hyphen. One of the functions of punctuation is to allow the reader to verbally reproduce the sentence in the way the you, the author, wants it to be said and a semicolon (or hyphen) in this instance would indicate a longer pause between the two clauses than is normally associated with a comma. I'd have more of an issue with the use of the word "got" instead of "had"!
    Thank you for your reply.

    I don't think one can separate two independent clauses with a hyphen; you probably meant to say "dash."

    Also, why do you think "got" is wrong? If one were to replace it with "had" the sentence would not make sense.

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    #4

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Why is it correct to use a comma instead of a semicolon in sentences such as this one:

    The Nets did a good job, they got a good win.

    It was my understanding that two independent clauses can be separated either with a conjunction or a semicolon (perhaps also with a dash).

    Thanks.
    The Nets won? When? (They may be the worst team in NBA basketball history.)

    But seriously, this is clearly a very informal way of speaking. Someone is rendering this kind of "sports speech" into writing. Increasingly in such situations people are allowing a comma to replace the more formal (and technically correct) semicolon. Generally speaking, if a sentence is rapidly flowing from thought to thought, I would allow for the comma. But I am very strict with students when they are learning their grammar rules; a semicolon is required when they are connecting two independent clauses.

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    #5

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    I don't think one can separate two independent clauses with a hyphen; you probably meant to say "dash."
    I'd think so. Typographically it's a hyphen - the 101 keyboard doesn't have a dash, though Word will automatically change an isolated hyphen to a dash. Grammatically, whether you use the hyphen key or not, in this context it's a dash.

    Also, why do you think "got" is wrong? If one were to replace it with "had" the sentence would not make sense.
    You don't 'get' a win; you 'have' a win. 'Get' does not sound natural here.
    R.

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    #6

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    R.
    "They got a win" is a very common phrase in North American English, although it may be colloquial.

    "They got a win" and "They had a win" do not mean the same thing to me. The first sentence emphasizes the process of winning, whereas the second describes a state or outcome.

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    #7

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Thank you for your reply.

    I don't think one can separate two independent clauses with a hyphen; you probably meant to say "dash."

    Also, why do you think "got" is wrong? If one were to replace it with "had" the sentence would not make sense.
    In this context you will hear people say "got a good win." I don't particularly like it, but it is increasingly used in "sports speech."

    The word "have" would work but doesn't indicate the effort they put into it. I guess you could say, "They managed to obtain a hard-fought victory," but I'll accept, "They got a good win." It has a certain charm to it. Back in the old days the sportscasters were old ballplayers who came right out of the country. Hence you would hear someone exclaim, "He slud [slid] into third base." Now you regularly hear, "You did real good, kid," even from college professor fathers.

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    #8

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You don't 'get' a win; you 'have' a win.
    'Get' does not sound natural here.
    Seems like to some people it does.
    I'm a sports fan -- I often see this construction.
    Also, Google gives LOTS of examples, including from au.sports.yahoo.com

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    #9

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by IHIVG View Post
    Seems like to some people it does.
    I'm a sports fan -- I often see this construction.
    Also, Google gives LOTS of examples, including from au.sports.yahoo.com
    Yes, it seems that it's used widely in some places. I'm not a sports person myself. But I still prefer "have a win", which, using Google, is three times as popular as "get a win". I note that GrahameBoyd, who first questioned this is also from Australia. Maybe it crept here recently from America, like many things.
    But, for Jasmin, "had a win" does make sense.

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    #10

    Re: semicolon

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, it seems that it's used widely in some places. I'm not a sports person myself. But I still prefer "have a win", which, using Google, is three times as popular as "get a win". I note that GrahameBoyd, who first questioned this is also from Australia. Maybe it crept here recently from America, like many things.
    But, for Jasmin, "had a win" does make sense.
    To me the difference between "They got a win" and "They had a win" is the same as the difference between "I got a present" and "I had a present." "Got" emphasizes the process of acquiring something; "had" does not.

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