[Grammar] then realized

Phaedrus

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I don't think emsr2d2 merely tried. She succeeded, as many people do.

You and I have different opinions about whether that is correct.

In any case, your usage blurb indicates that ems, at the very least, needed a comma before her grammatically questionable use of "then" as a coordinating conjunction.
 

5jj

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You and I have different opinions about whether that is correct.
Well, three-quarters of of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel share my opinion that it is completely acceptable, so I don't feel too isolated.
 

Phaedrus

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Well, three-quarters of of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel share my opinion that it is completely acceptable, so I don't feel too isolated.

Good for you. I know that I am not alone, either, among native speakers, in finding the construction I advocated worthy of being used, as my example shows.

Quirk et al. (1985, pp. 923-924) say the following in discussing the feature of coordinators other than and and or linking constituents smaller than a clause.

"However, [this feature] does not apply to for and so that:

- *[strike]
He [did not want it], for [was obstinate].[/strike]
- *[strike]
He [did not spend very much], so that [could afford a trip abroad].[/strike]

Nor does it apply to other conjunctions or to most conjuncts. But this construction seems to be acceptable with the conjunct yet and (
to a lesser extent, at least in informal spoken English) [emphasis mine] with the conjunct so and the time adverb then (meaning 'after that'):

- They didn't like it, yet (they) said nothing.
- They were tired, so (they) left early.
- They went home, then (they) went straight to bed."
Notice the comma after "home" in this construction, which they, as you can see, describe as informal, spoken, and acceptable to a lesser extent than it is with yet.
 

KJOU

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I still don't get it. According to what the teachers here said, 1) is right and 2) is wrong.

1) The bus leaves at 5:00, reaching the destination at 6:00. (o)

2) The bus leaves at 5:00, then reaching the destination at 6:00. (x)

What is the difference between without "then," and with "then"?

Could anyone explain it to me in a little more detail?
 

KJOU

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Do you mean "then" could be a conjunction, so we can not use the comma and then together in the sentence below?

As far as I know, "then" can be both a adverb and a conjunction.

That's is why I thought I could paraphrase the example you gave into this.

They went home, then going straight to bed.
 

5jj

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I still don't get it. According to what the teachers here said, 1) is right and 2) is wrong.

1) The bus leaves at 5:00, reaching the destination at 6:00. (o)

2) The bus leaves at 5:00, then reaching the destination at 6:00. (x)

3. The bus leaves at 5:00, and then reaches the destination at 6:00.

That one is correct. For some members it would be acceptable without the 'and'.

Your sentence (2) is not correct, for the same reason (4) is not.:

2) The bus leaves at 5:00, and reaching the destination at 6:00.


Please wait until one question has received a response before posting another question.
 

Phaedrus

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According to what the teachers here said, 1) is right and 2) is wrong.

1) The bus leaves at 5:00, reaching the destination at 6:00. (o)

2) The bus leaves at 5:00, then reaching the destination at 6:00. (x)
3. The bus leaves at 5:00, and then reaches the destination at 6:00.

That one is correct. For some members it would be acceptable without the 'and'.

Your sentence (2) is not correct, for the same reason (4) is not.:

[4)] The bus leaves at 5:00, and reaching the destination at 6:00.
I like 5jj's explanation of why (2) is incorrect. The explanation is based on the assumption that "then" can be a coordinating conjunction and is one in (2).

The incorrectness of (2) may also be accounted for on the adverb interpretation of "then," which yields a meaning that is impossible in the world as we know it.

On the adverb reading of "then," (2) would mean that the bus leaves at 5:00 and reaches the destination at that time (5:00), which is said to be simultaneously 6:00!

Consider the following sentences:

(a1) The bus left at 5:00, then having a flat tire. [It didn't get very far.]
(a2) The bus left at 5:00, at that time having a flat tire. [It didn't get very far.]

(b1) The bus left at 5:00, having then a flat tire. [It didn't get very far.]
(b2) The bus left at 5:00, having at that time a flat tire. [It didn't get very far.]

As you can see, "then" (on its adverbial interpretation) does NOT yield a "subsequently" reading in modifying the participial phrase. "Then" specifies the time of the situation expressed by the participial phrase, identifying that time deictically with the time of the bus's leaving (the situation of the main clause).
 

emsr2d2

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I dithered over whether to use a comma or "and" before "then" so I decided to say the sentence aloud. I didn't pause before "then" so I decided to use neither.
 
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