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I corrected the following sentence:

Nowadays, if you drive through a forested area, the windscreen of your car will most likely remain almost clean. Unlike 20 years ago, when the windscreen was darkened by dead insects after such a tour.

into:

Nowadays, if you drive through a forested area, the windscreen of your car will most likely remain almost clean. Unlike 20 years ago, there are hardly any flying insects left that you will crash into while driving.

The person I corrected this for got angry, because I changed the whole sentence around, and told me it was just fine. As far as I am concerned one cannot use "unlike" in such a manner, semantically connecting 2 sentences while the first has stopped already? It doesn't seem to make sense.

It should be 1 sentence in that case:

Nowadays, if you drive through a forested area, the windscreen of your car will most likely remain almost clean unlike 20 years ago, when the windscreen was darkened by dead insects after such a tour.

I don´t know how to explain why in case I am right.

4

You're right and your friend is wrong.

The problem is the full-stop (period) after almost clean. This means that what follows is not a sentence but just a clause. It would be a sentence if it read:

Twenty years ago, the windscreen would have been darkened by dead insects after such a tour.

This statement can stand by itself as a complete sentence, but your friend's construction cannot, as it does not make sense by itself:

Unlike 20 years ago, when the windscreen was darkened by dead insects after such a tour.

Your friend could correct this by either removing the full-stop (period) after almost clean (as you have done) or replacing it, possibly with a hyphen (which is a bit lazy but makes things clear).

In the meanwhile you are right because your friend is required grammatically to follow his/her first sentence with another sentence and has merely followed it with a clause, which is not self-standing.

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  • I was just wondering about something else. I did actually use a comma in, " Nowadays, if you drive through a forested area, the windscreen of your car will most likely remain almost clean unlike 20 years ago, when the windscreen was darkened by dead insects after such a tour." after 20 years ago. I don´t even know why did that. It looked like an introductory sentence to me I guess. Was it correct to use a comma there? – Marcin Nowak Mar 8 '18 at 18:51
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    @MarcinNowak The reason you used the comma was in an attempt to break up a very long and complicated sentence. A comma doesn't really belong there. I preferred a dash (hyphen), which also isn't ideal. By far the best option is to break the sentence in two. – Ronald Sole Mar 8 '18 at 19:05
  • That was my original thought. It´s just way too long. – Marcin Nowak Mar 9 '18 at 5:46
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Perhaps the changes you had made were too major to your friend; they would not have got angry if they had seen the following (not too different) version, for example:

"Nowadays, if you drive through a forested area, the windscreen of your car will most likely remain almost clean. Unlike 20 years ago, the windscreen is not darkened by dead insects after such a tour."

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