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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    When Anna started to go out

    Have I made any mistakes?

    When Anna started to go out with Stephen, people warned her off him. He was not to be trusted, he was a scoundrel and a criminal, and he was going to make her pregnant and then leave her with a child. Anna had listened patiently to all those well-wishers but never changed her mind. Fiver years later, she and Stephen had two children and lived in a happy marriage. Anna never regretted her choice and she believes you should always listen to your heart.

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    #2

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    When Anna began going out with Stephen, people warned her off him. He was not to be trusted, he was a scoundrel and a criminal, and he was going to make her pregnant and leave her with child. Anna listened patiently to all those well-wishers but never changed her mind. Fiver years on, she and Stephen had two children and were happily married. Anna has never regretted her choice. She believes you should always listen to your heart.

    "Five years later" is not wrong. "With child" and "happily married" are the idioms. The last sentence should be split: the two clauses are not constructed in parallel.
    Last edited by abaka; 25-Aug-2019 at 17:44. Reason: "has never regretted", to concord with "believes".
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  3. teechar's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    He was not to be trusted, he was a scoundrel and a criminal,
    That's a comma splice.

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    #4

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    Yes, it is. But the three clauses if that sentence run on very naturally. Don't you think semicolons would slow down the rhythm too much?

    If people thought was not to be trusted because was a criminal and would knock her up, then a colon is the proper punctuation. But his putative deceitfulness, criminality and irresponsibility sound like three independent things people held against him.
    Last edited by abaka; 25-Aug-2019 at 19:20.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Yes, it is. But the three clauses if in that sentence run on very naturally. Don't you think semicolons would slow down the rhythm too much?
    Not really.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    If people thought he was not to be trusted because he was a criminal and would knock her up, then a colon is the proper punctuation. But his putative deceitfulness, criminality and irreaponsibility irresponsibility sound like three independent things people held against him.
    Perhaps.

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    #6

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    I do regret, very much, the uncaught typos. Posting from a phone presents real dangers!

    But the rule against comma splices is hardly absolute.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  7. VIP Member
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    #7

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    abaka,

    I appreciate teechar's knowledge and opinion, but I have to agree with you. I have read a few books written by editors, and they recommend that a writer should not stick to the comma splice rule if it interrupts the flow of a sentence. Of course, I am not a native speaker, but I feel that this is one of the cases when you can ignore the rule.

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    Five years later is not wrong, but Fiver years on is.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 25-Aug-2019 at 21:38.
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    #9

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    But "five years on" is not.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: When Anna started to go out

    I disagree with Bassim on this one. Those comma splices are always easy to fix. Also, it's hard to imagine reading a book written by an editor.
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