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comma splice Options
zhonglc2020
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 4:01:28 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 7/7/2019
Posts: 30
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Hello everyone,

He shoved Sohrab in the back,pushed him right into the table.

source: The Complete Khaled Hosseini: Digital box set by By Khaled Hosseini

My question,
What do you think of the comma splice?
Is it a mistake or is it a special writing manner?

Many many thanks.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 12:04:18 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,429
Neurons: 57,718
zhonglc2020 wrote:
Hello everyone,

He shoved Sohrab in the back,pushed him right into the table.

source: The Complete Khaled Hosseini: Digital box set by By Khaled Hosseini

My question,
What do you think of the comma splice?
Is it a mistake or is it a special writing manner?

Many many thanks.


My understanding is that a comma splice occurs when a comma is used between two complete sentences. You don't have that here. That said, in times past, commas were sometimes used that way if the statements were closely related to one another, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 4:26:35 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 2,838
Neurons: 781,610
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
According to the grammar lessons offered here on TFD, two closely-related independent clauses may appear in the same sentence but separated by a semicolon, not a comma.
NKM
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 8:41:08 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 5,234
Neurons: 310,353
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Ah, but that second half is not a clause; its (implied) subject ("He") is shared with the first half.

It's inescapably clear that "pushed him into the table" is intimately related to "shoved him in the back".

All in all, the "spliced" sentence works very well in speech and in not-very-formal writing.

This kind of phrasing is something most of use freely, if not necessarily every day.

Audiendus
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 9:26:20 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 5,699
Neurons: 1,072,648
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
NKM wrote:
Ah, but that second half is not a clause; its (implied) subject ("He") is shared with the first half.

It's inescapably clear that "pushed him into the table" is intimately related to "shoved him in the back".

Yes, but the sentence still reads oddly to me. There should be an "and" after "back" (the comma is then optional, depending on how much of a 'pause' is wanted.) Alternatively, "pushed" could be changed to "pushing".

To represent informal speech, I would use a dash or period after "back", not a comma:

He shoved Sohrab in the back – pushed him right into the table.
He shoved Sohrab in the back. Pushed him right into the table.
zhonglc2020
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 4:31:12 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 7/7/2019
Posts: 30
Neurons: 194
Got it
Thank you all.
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