Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. Junior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 46

    use of punctuation

    I was going through an example of pretty big sentence and found the following.

    "Now if nature should intermit her course and leave altogether, though it
    were but for awhile, the observation of her own laws; if those principal
    and mother elements of the world, whereof all things in this lower world
    are made, should lose the qalities which now they have; if the frame of
    that heavenly arch erected over our heads should loosen and dissolve itself; if celestial spheres should forget their wonted motions, and by irregula"

    The question is around the start of sentence "if those pri" and "if the frame of". Since the sentence starts with a subordinate conjunction (due to if conjunction), it is a dependant clause and I would expect a comma and not a semicolon.

    Am I right here ? or this really is not a subordinate conjunction ..


  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: use of punctuation

    Actually, what you have is a list of subjunctive clauses. The punctuation rules follow more-or-less the same rules as for any list: the items are normally separated by commas; but if one or more of the items already has a comma in it, you need to separate them with semicolons:

    • apples,
    • bananas,
    • pears,
    • ...


    • apples, some of which are red;
    • bananas, subject to availability;
    • pears, which I hate;
    • ...

    So it is with lists of subordinate clauses:

    • if nature should intermit her course,
    • if principle elements should lose qualities,
    • if the frame should dissolve itself,
    • ...


    • if nature should intermit her course, though it were for a while;
    • if principle elements, whereof all things are made, should lose qualities;
    • if the frame should dissolve itself;
    • ...

Similar Threads

  1. What exactly is closed punctuation?
    By dcstar79 in forum Letter Writing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Oct-2007, 08:48
  2. Punctuation in a question
    By musicgold in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Jul-2007, 20:14
  3. Punctuation task
    By qureshi in forum Analysing and Diagramming Sentences
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Mar-2007, 06:37
  4. Punctuation
    By shadowtigerl in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-Dec-2006, 23:38
  5. Punctuation in the Legal Field
    By lurontierney in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 15-Jun-2005, 09:26


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts