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In a house where the TV is not watched, blessings multiply, angels enter and Satan leaves. Whereas a house in which the TV is watched becomes devoid of blessings, angels leave and is ravaged by Satan.

I think the ending of the last sentence is incorrect (….is ravaged by Satan.) Also, is it correct to begin the sentence with ‘whereas’? Please can you help me word the second sentence correctly.

I have not written ‘it is ravaged by Satan’ because when written like this: Whereas a house in which the TV is watched is ravaged by Satan, ‘it’ does not work.

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  • ...whereas a house... angels leave is ungrammatical. You'd need to say "angels leave it and it is ravaged".
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 10:43
  • But that would constitute a new independent clause.
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 10:49
  • 'But that would constitute a new independent clause' how would I write it then? Thank you. Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 10:54
  • You have to decide whether you want house to be the subject of the verb (a house...becomes) or the object of a preposition (in a house where...) What can be said after that will be determined by the choice you have made. We cannot say "A tree that is watered will grow, birds sing..."
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 11:00
  • But we can say "A tree that is watered will grow and birds will nest in it and people will sit in its shade".
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 11:08

1 Answer 1

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I'll answer the whereas question first. I would either:

  • Remove the first period and use a comma before whereas, or
  • Use a different clause at the start of the second sentence, and set it off with a comma (such as "On the other hand," or "In contrast,")

As for dealing with the second sentence, it loses some of the parallelism of the first. The first sentence has a nice trio of nouns and verbs:

...blessings multiply, angels enter and Satan leaves.

In contrast, the second is all in a jumble. I'd use a dash and do some wordsmithing:

A house in which TV is watched becomes devoid of blessings – angels leave and the house is ravaged by Satan.


Incidentally, that's a rather grim view of television. I'm not even a fan of television, but I must mention in a footnote that I disagree with the dire theology of the original text.

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  • Could I write it like this as well? A house in which TV is watched becomes devoid of blessings, angels leave, and the house is ravaged by Satan. Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 10:57
  • I would rather not use a dash Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 11:10
  • @steppingstones - You can write it however you want to write it – after all, you're the author. But why avoid a dash? With a comma, the sentence looks poorly structured; with a dash, the part after the dash emphasizes the preceding material.
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 17:34
  • You're right. I just wanted both sentences to have the same structure. That shouldn't be my priority. Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 9:39
  • @steppingstones - RE: I just wanted both sentences to have the same structure Why didn't you say that in your question??
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 18:08

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