more than one commas in a sentence, is this alright?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
One of the books I've read says that there shouldn't be more than one comma in a sentence except for lists of things. For example:

"On the morning of June 28, the weather finally cleared, but the climbers wearied by their efforts of the previous days, could not attempt the summit."
should be changed to:

"On the morning of June 28, the weather finally cleared; but the climbers wearied by their efforts of the previous days, could not attempt the summit."

The comma before "but the climbers...." is replaced by a semi-colon, because otherwise it would be the 'second' comma.

Is this true? If so, should I replace the second comma in the sentence below with a semicolon?

"I agree with the author insofar as laws are drafted to place limits on people’s behaviors, not thoughts, but I also think laws have the power to do the latter as well as the former."

Thanks in advance.
 

Anglika

No Longer With Us
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Member Type
Other
Commas aer used where, in speech, you might briefly pause to take breath, so more than one can and is used in a sentence. I would not alter the punctuation in the sample sentence.
 

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Commas aer used where, in speech, you might briefly pause to take breath, so more than one can and is used in a sentence. I would not alter the punctuation in the sample sentence.
Thanks, but are you sure what you said is also applicable in formal writing?
 

David L.

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Member Type
Other
I would go so far as to punctuate it:
"On the morning of June 28, the weather finally cleared, but the climbers, wearied by their efforts of the previous days, could not attempt the summit."

If anything, informal writing is probably more lax with punctuation than formal writing!
Punctuation is there to make your meaning immediately 'comprehendable' - if you can do that better with an extra comma...
 

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
I would go so far as to punctuate it:
"On the morning of June 28, the weather finally cleared, but the climbers, wearied by their efforts of the previous days, could not attempt the summit."

If anything, informal writing is probably more lax with punctuation than formal writing!
Punctuation is there to make your meaning immediately 'comprehendable' - if you can do that better with an extra comma...
"Informal writing is probably more lax with punctuation than formal writing"...Well, shouldn't "informal" writing be more lax with most things?...Anyway I've got the gist, and will stick to commas instead.
Thanks
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top