[Grammar] Is it a run-on sentence?

kadioguy

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Hello, everyone.

Today I saw the following example sentence in the Longman Idioms Dictionary:

Albert's diet consisted of microwave meals, varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.

Is it should be "Albert's diet consisted of microwave meals, and varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him."?

Thank you!

PS. If there is any grammatically wrong in my narrative, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.
 

GoesStation

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No. The conjunction doesn't work there.
 

kadioguy

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Are consisted and varied both verbs of the past tense?
 

PaulMatthews

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Are consisted and varied both verbs of the past tense?


Albert's diet consisted of [microwave meals varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him].


"Consisted" is a past tense form, but "varied" is a past participle.

You originally asked if this is a run-on sentence. No, it's not, for the "varied" clause is a subordinate past-participial clause modifying "microwave meals". The bracketed element is thus a noun phrase.

Past-participial clauses as noun modifiers are semantically similar to relative clauses, cf.
Albert's diet consisted of microwave meals which were varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.
 

kadioguy

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Thanks!

But how about this sentence:

[FONT=Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]Depending on where you ate, small orders of fries could vary by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium.
[/FONT]
US News(Dec 31, 2014)

Why don't it be "Depending on where you ate, small orders of fries could be varied by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium."?
 

GoesStation

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Depending on where you ate, small orders of fries could vary by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium.
US News(Dec 31, 2014)

Why can't [STRIKE]don't[/STRIKE] it be "Depending on where you ate, small orders of fries could be varied by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium."?

In the original, the subject of "could vary" is "small orders". In the passive version you propose, an implied actor does something to change the calorie count. The reader has no way to guess who that actor might be, so that version doesn't work.
 

kadioguy

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microwave meals which were varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.

small orders of fries could vary by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium.

What is the difference between the two BYs?

Thanks!
 

GoesStation

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Albert's diet consisted of microwave meals which were varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.

Depending on where you ate, small orders of fries could vary by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium.

What is the difference between the two BYs?

You left out the beginnings of the sentences. The first part of the first sentence tells us who the implied actor for the passive-voice construction is. (It doesn't tell us unequivocally, but we guess that it's Albert.)

In the second sentence it's clear that the choice of eating places causes the different calorie counts.
 

PaulMatthews

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microwave meals which were varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.

small orders of fries could vary by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium.

What is the difference between the two BYs?

Thanks!


[1] ... microwave meals which were varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.

[2] ... small orders of fries could vary by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium

The difference is that in [1] the preposition "by" introduces a 'means' adjunct, a clause telling us the means by which the meals were varied.

In [2] by contrast, it introduces a noun phrase that quantifies the variation in calories and sodium.
 

andrewg927

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microwave meals which were varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.

small orders of fries could vary by 110 calories and by 320 milligrams of sodium.

What is the difference between the two BYs?

Thanks!

That is a good question, Kadioguy. It is confusing, isn't it? The same word "by" but two sentences have two different uses for it. In the first sentence, "by" is used in a passive voice (the meals were cooked by someone). In the second sentence, "by" signifies the differences in calories and sodium. Notice "by" has different meanings in different cases.

Look at the definition #7 and #11 of "by"in this dictionary:http://www.dictionary.com/browse/by?s=t

Hope that helps. If not, ask away.
 

kadioguy

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Thank you all!

I looked up in the OALD online (because I think it is easier to understand for me):
http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/by_1?q=by

I think the definition #2 and #8 of "by" fit my first sentence and second sentence above separately.

By the way, I want to ask:

according to

Albert's diet consisted of microwave meals, varied by cooking in a disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.

Are both of the following sentence correct?

Albert's diet consisted of microwave meals, which were varied by cooking in a
disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.

(The which means
microwave meals, so it is followed by were. )


Albert's diet consisted of microwave meals, which was varied by cooking in a
disgusting frying pan when the spirit moved him.


(The which means Albert's diet, so it is followed by was. )

Am I right?
 
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GoesStation

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The version with "which was" doesn't work. The reader will mentally replace "which" with microwave meals, which is plural.
 
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