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  1. sky3120's Avatar
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    #1

    The rule of putting a pause before a comma

    Do native English speakers follow the rule of putting a pause before a comma all the time or we should figure it out by context sometimes and some of them ignore the rule? I hear so many people just speak and ignore the comma when they say. What do you native English speakers think? Thank you so much.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The rule of putting a pause before a comma

    What do you mean by 'putting a pause before a comma'?

  3. sky3120's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The rule of putting a pause before a comma

    I am sorry about the ambiguity and what I meant is "commas" in non defining relative clauses. When I watch movies and news, sometimes native English speakers do not care about stopping for a second. They speak so fast that I do not understand whether there is a non defining relative clause or defining relative clause. So I would like to know if it is true that sometimes native English speakers do not follow the rule or I just got them wrong.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The rule of putting a pause before a comma

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    I am sorry about the ambiguity and what I meant is "commas" in non defining relative clauses. When I watch movies and news, sometimes native English speakers do not care about stopping for a second. They speak so fast that I do not understand whether there is a non defining relative clause or defining relative clause. So I would like to know if it is true that sometimes native English speakers do not follow the rule or I just got them wrong.
    There is no 'rule' about pausing. We normally pause slightly in speech before and after a non-defining relative clause. This pause is marked by commas in writing. Confusingly, we normally pause very slightly at the end of a defining clause. This pause is not marked by a comma in writing. In fast speech, only a sophisticated recorder could tell us whether we pause or not - and we are not always consistent.

  5. sky3120's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The rule of putting a pause before a comma

    So even native English speakers do not know what it is for sure and figure it out by context sometimes? Then, there can be a misunderstanding by any chance if we do not know the context well?
    Last edited by sky3120; 21-Sep-2012 at 09:22.

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    #6

    Re: The rule of putting a pause before a comma

    Yes. Context is king.

    And many "readers" of written texts (like announcers on TV) may not always know the material well or pause appropriately.

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