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62

I think there is a word missing in the sentence, but not the one you think it is. I would expect Three things in life that, once lost, are hard to build up. Once lost is a "small clause", equivalent to once they are lost; it is also common enough to qualify as an idiom. Note also that this is not a full sentence, since everything after "that" is a ...


18

I'd say definitely no. The main reason I'm saying that is because I read a lot in English and have never seen anyone place a comma in front of when like that, provided that we're talking about sentences that are structured in a similar manner to how you have structured your example sentence here. Example: We always appreciate it when people who visit us ...


14

The correct answer depends on the context. A comma can be used here to introduce a parenthetical clause. We appreciate it, when we catch a taxi, if the driver opens the door for us. But if the words after it are integral to the meaning, and not simply parenthetical, then it's better to omit the comma. We appreciate it when taxi drivers behave ...


13

This problem has to do with the use of commas, and not so much with the phrase "such that". "Such that" is considered equal to "so that" in meaning, but "so that" is more common and preferred. "Such that" is really formal. Commas are usually used to separate independent parts of a sentence. Because of the dependence that "such that" and "so that" have on ...


13

The choice is entirely up to you. Usually, a comma is placed after an introductory adverbial (here: in this talk) if that adverbial is long. By placing a comma you then improve the readability of your sentence. In your case, the comma is not necessary, but if you do place it you're telling the reader to pause briefly when reaching the comma. Without the ...


13

Punctuation should be understood as being less about "rules" than about "clarity". In this case, the comma is optional. A comma is generally used before a conjunction that links two independent clauses, as is the case here. However the two clauses are quite short and we often omit the comma in this case. You may use a comma here, if you feel it improves ...


12

As an ESL, I understood the Oxford/Serial/Harvard comma with this example: Since then I've been careful.


11

Sentences Imagine a long piece of writing. If you look at the grammar, you will see that everything is organised into 'chunks'. So if we look at the very, very small chunks, we have different parts of words that have different meanings. Look at this word: replayed We can break this word into three bits. We have re which means again. We have play. And we ...


11

The first sentence reads to me as a run-on. It would be Alex's son, John, is sleeping. or Alex's son John is sleeping. John is an appositive, a noun or noun phrase that provides additional information or an alternative name for an adjacent noun. Whether or not you include the commas depends on what you are trying to express, as their inclusion or ...


11

In a construction like the A, B, C ... and n of X, both the determiner the and the modifying participle phrase of X will ‘distribute’ over all terms in the list A, B, C ... and n. Consequently, Christians are here called upon to think not about humility, poverty and simplicity in general but about the three specific qualities—the humility, ...


11

Either is ok. Commas indicate a pause. If you want to emphasize the contrast between the two clauses more, add the comma. By the way you don't need the "to me" in that sentence; it's implied by the fact that the sentence is written in the first person ("I" is the subject). I like your car, but it seems too expensive for you. Advice from the BBC: A ...


11

Unless the sentence is addressing men who speak in conventional ways, it is missing a comma. With no comma, conventionally speaking appears to modify "men" (albeit in an awkward, non-idiomatic way.) Conventionally speaking men are more likely to be hired as broadcasters than those with effeminate voices. When a comma is included, "Conventionally ...


10

As ably explained by @James in his answer, it is far better to describe someone as they are rather than for something that they are not. Most of the sentences you list just would not be heard. But the expression "not well educated" may well be used from time to time, as are other similar idioms. It can soften the impact of a statement if you say [x] is "...


9

When you raise something to some power, you are performing exponentiation. In other words, raising x to the power k is simply xk. I assume that your excerpt comes from this article on moment. In the article, they call r the "distance to some point". They let n denote some power. Then again, that distance r raised to some power n is rn. In the product of ...


9

Personally (as a native English speaker living in Berlin), if somebody were to write "We appreciate it, when..." (with a comma) I would automatically assume that the writer was a German native speaker. In German commas are used much more than in English (for example, "I hope, that you had a good trip"/"Ich hoffe, dass..." or "I think, that we should turn ...


9

Can one write those sentences - Yes. Should one write those sentences - No. There may be times when it is important to describe people by saying what they are not, e.g. "The suspect is not armed." However, it is usually much better to describe people by saying what they are. So, instead of 'not well-educated' try 'poorly educated', 'uneducated', '...


9

The colon is correctly used (it is placed where the word 'namely' could be used instead), and positioned (it follows words that could stand alone as a complete sentence, and precedes something directly related). The first word after a colon is never capitalised if it does not start what would be a complete sentence, and many style guides advise against ...


9

If you put in all the assumed words, you would have this: (There are) three things in life that, once (they have been) lost, (are) hard to build (back) up.


8

Ditto StoneyB. While his interpretation is clearly correct in this case, let me point out that this type of construction is potentially ambiguous. If, for example, someone wrote, "We should plan to get dinner and sleep on the train", that could mean that we should get dinner before we leave and then we should sleep on the train, or it could mean that we ...


8

Learners from German or Russian (for example) will tend to place too many commas. When writing in English, try to think of commas as a very "heavy" form of punctuation, i.e. that it signifies a substantial pause – it's not just something you fly over as in German or Russian. Whether to place a comma or not is sometimes a personal choice. For instance, ...


8

Yes it's wrong, it's all one sentence that can't be split up. You could add a small clause (mini-sentence) where your comma is and separate it with commas: I hope, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that my explanations help. The reason you can't say "I hope, my explanations help" is because it's like you're saying two separate things. Like "I eat, my ...


7

Is this correct to use a comma in this situation (for animals and their owners, I have learned...)? Does it make sense to use surprising in this sentence? ("It seemed surprising to me that beside of famous and notorious toxins...") Shouldn't water start with a capital letter? ("...many essential elements and substances like Calcium, Sodium and even ...


7

I was excited about driving up to Manchester... OK. But, I later realized, have no car. If we consider only the last line then, after removing the "parenthetical clause", we get "But have no car." This is clearly non-grammatical (though comprehensible). However, if we consider the first line, and regard the two lines as simply being a single (...


6

Is this correct to use a comma in this situation (for animals and their owners, I have learned...)? Yes. It is quite common to separate a subordinate clause from the main clause with a comma, especially if the subordinate clause is quite long and / or complicated: After we had made our preparations and packed our bags, we called a cab for the airport. ...


6

The comma is used for setting off nonessential explanations. If an explanation or definition occurs as an appositive it should be set off with commas: When the nonessential explanation is not at the end of the sentence, like in your example, it should be set off with a pair of commas. If the nonessential explanation is placed at the end of the sentence ...


6

Whether or not to use a comma between clauses depends on whether the second clause is dependent. This construction would almost forcibly lead to a dependent clause, so you would not use a comma. This article might help: http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/subordinateclause.htm


6

You also asked "What are the functions of commas" In this context the commas are a sign of a side remark, a parenthetical statement that is used to provide further information. If you were reading this sentence aloud you would have a slight pause for the commas and a possible inflexion change. A simpler way to write the sentence would be to move this ...


6

The New York Times stylebook "In general, do not use a comma before and or or in a series." (quoted in wikipedia) It is not the case that American English always uses an Oxford comma, though it is more common in America. In particular the NY Times does not.


5

None of the examples you gave require a comma. As a rule of thumb, you don't use a comma before a clause that begins with that. You're veering to the territory of restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. A restrictive clause limits the meaning of a sentence when you remove it. A nonrestrictive clause doesn't. Here are two examples (forgive the passive voice)...


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