Bob likes cake, I like pie.
(1) I think that maybe your sentence is what the books call a compound sentence. That is, two sentences connected with a conjunction.
(2) Maybe grammar books think that you should write:
Bob likes cake, and I like pie.
(3) Sometimes, people leave out the conjunction ("and") when the sentence is short.
(4) When you speak, your sentence is fine.
(5) When you write, maybe it's better to put in the conjunction.
(6) Sometimes people leave out the conjunction because it is more dramatic.
(a) Maybe the most famous example is:
I came, I saw, I conquered.
(That sentence is "stronger" than: I came, and I saw, and I conquered. )
Have a nice day!
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
Good afternoon, Kfredson.
(1) You are correct, of course. Learners ( and not a few of us native speakers!) need simple rules:
(a) Use a conjunction to connect main clauses: Sue likes mushrooms, and I like broccoli.
(b) If there is no conjunction use a semicolon: Sue likes mushrooms; I like broccoli.
(2) As you pointed out, however, things are not that neat in the real world.
(3) Your question drove me to Google.
(a) There were websites discussing the horrors of the infamous "comma splice," which has driven students crazy ever since grammar books were introduced.
(b) If Julius Caesar were alive, he would be delighted how many websites discuss his "Veni, vidi, vici."
(c) Some websites say that this proves that it's OK to use commas IF it's a short sentence AND if the clauses are exactly parallel.
(d) Some websites, of course, say we should avoid commas -- Caesar notwithstanding.
(e) One writer defended the commas in Caesar's quotation because semicolons would spoil the effect. It would make the statement prosaic rather than TRIUMPHANT.
(4) I guess your beginning students would appreciate the either conjunction or semicolon rule.
(5) Perhaps your advanced students could handle the choice of a conjunction, semicolon, or comma.
I think your students are very lucky to have you, for I can tell from your website persona that you are very kind, patient, and open-minded.
I can only imagine the kind of richness that will be brought to the language by the people of so many nations who are eagerly embracing our mother tongue. I feel that it is no longer "our" (BrE and AmE) language but a new international form of communication. That is what makes this forum so interesting.
What say you?
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
Good morning, Kfredson,
(1) What say I?
(2) I have to admit that I am very rigid when it comes to "good" English. (Not that I claim to have mastered it. I'm sure you could find many mistakes/errors in this post.)
(3) I love rules. I crave rules. I need the confidence of rules. / I love rules; I crave rules; I need the confidence of rules./ I love rules, I crave rules, I need the confidence of rules.
(4) I guess that I agree with some experts that one should at least try to master the rules before breaking them. At least, one will realize that s/he IS breaking them.
(5) I idolize Fowler, even though I can't understand him most of the time, and I admit having lost respect for Quirk when he had the temerity to criticize Fowler!
(6) Your comment about people coming to this country and contributing to the language is very interesting. Usually I read about other countries complaining that their languages are being "corrupted" by English.
Have a nice day!
As to my comment about others taking up the language, I was referring less to people coming to our country than all the forms of English that are arising in India, China, etc. I have the feeling that some of these countries will be developing forms of English that are quite unique -- perhaps as different from standard English as Swiss German is from German. When I traveled in India I heard a group of men on the train speaking what I assumed was Hindi. It was, in fact, English, but spoken in such a way that I could barely make out what they were saying. When I introduced myself they immediately switched to King's English. It turns out that English was their only common language, but they spoke it to each other in such a way that it seemed like a different dialect.
India is, of course, much further along with its English, but I suspect that we will see something similar in other countries. It may primarily be a difference of accent, but I'm not so sure.