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    #1

    Disputed Usages - Urgent! Please help!

    Can someone please help pointing out the 'disputed usages' in the following sentences:
    1) He was out at a meeting and couldn't be contacted all day.

    2) His second plan is not as imaginative as his first but it is more credible.

    Thanks,
    Eva

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: Disputed Usages - Urgent! Please help!

    Coordinating conjunction; e.g., and, but join two independent clauses.

    1a) He was out at a meeting and he couldn't be contacted all day.

    If the clauses share the same subject, the subject of the second clause is often omitted for the sake of efficiency - it's redundant:

    1b) He was out at a meeting and couldn't be contacted all day.

    If the clauses are connected in thought (e.g., hold a cause & effect relationship), adding a comma isolates the 2nd clause from its context. The second clause reads like an after-thought here:

    1c) He was out at a meeting, and (he) couldn't be contacted all day.

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    #3

    Re: Disputed Usages - Urgent! Please help!

    Thanks very much Casipoea. So do you mean both sentences have the same problem with comma? And should be rewritten as:

    1) He was out at a meeting, and couldn't be contacted all day.

    2) His second plan is not as imaginative as his first, but it is more credible.

    I once thought #2 had the problem of 'Pronoun whose antecedent is a possessive', my thought is:
    In this sentence, ‘his first’ lacks any clear antecedent – it certainly cannot refer back to ‘his second plan’, thus the sentence must be ungrammatical, or at least meaningless, unless a previous sentence provides an antecedent, for example, ‘The Professional Business Plan in 2006’, is a clear antecedent.

    Would you like to comment on this. Thanks

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #4

    Re: Disputed Usages - Urgent! Please help!

    Firstly, there isn't an antecedent problem. Second, given the semantic relationship between the two clauses in 1) and 2) respectively, I would suggest that you not use a comma:

    1) He was out at a meeting and couldn't be contacted all day.

    2) His second plan is not as imaginative as his first but it is more credible.

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