But, finally gave in.

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qizi

Senior Member
Chinese
The government resisted this demand for more than a year. But, finally gave in.
Do you think the last sentence is right? I'd prefer "..., but it finally gave in." if I put it.
Thanks.
 
  • Jessi B

    New Member
    English - U.S.A.
    Yeah, it doesn't sound right.

    First of all, a sentence shouldn't start with "but", and second, there should be no comma between "but" and "finally".

    I agree with your way, though I wouldn't have bothered to add in the word "it".
     

    HalloweenHJB

    Senior Member
    American English, Midwest USA
    If you wish to make it two separate sentences, "it finally gave in" is better (you need a subject for the verb). But if you combine the sentences with a comma, then the pronoun could be omitted: "The government resisted this demand for more than a year, but finally gave in."
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    First of all, a sentence shouldn't start with "but"
    This is wrong. HalloweenHJB gives the correct possibilities. As a separate sentence, note it'd be 'But it finally gave in.' No comma, as a comma would indicate a rather colloquial intonation, probably not wanted in this sentence.
     

    Jessi B

    New Member
    English - U.S.A.
    This is wrong. HalloweenHJB gives the correct possibilities. As a separate sentence, note it'd be 'But it finally gave in.' No comma, as a comma would indicate a rather colloquial intonation, probably not wanted in this sentence.
    Well, I disagree. I still find it awkward to use the word "but" at the beginning of the sentence, and as far as I know, it's still grammatically incorrect. I generally replace it with the word "however", though I believe in this situation it would be awkward as well seeing as the sentence is so short.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Here is a long and energetic thread on the topic: But at the start of sentence.

    Some participants point out that there are times when it is acceptable to start a sentence with but, and that great writers have done it. However, participants also advise against doing so, as it is difficult to know when it is appropriate to use "but", and the safer way is to avoid it.

    You should read the thread yourself, however. My summary does not do it justice, and you will see points that I missed.
     

    Wondercow

    Member
    English - Canadian
    Well, I disagree. I still find it awkward to use the word "but" at the beginning of the sentence, and as far as I know, it's still grammatically incorrect. I generally replace it with the word "however", though I believe in this situation it would be awkward as well seeing as the sentence is so short.
    I suppose, like with so many things, it depends on whom one asks. Shakespeare—among others— would begin sentences with but and and. The American Heritage Book of English Usage reports that 40% of the usage panel "rarely or never" follow the rule that a conjunction can't begin a sentence.

    My understanding is that as long as what follows the conjunction is a complete independent clause then have at it:

    But finally gave in. :cross:
    But it finally gave in. :tick:
     
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