Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
I combine this pair of sentences with "but" and I think of the two ways to do it. Please tell me if they are all correct.
"Jane doesn't want to go to the library."
"Mary wants to go to the library."
These combinations:
1. Jane doesn't want to go to the library but Mary does.
2. Jane doesn't want to go to the library but Mary wants to.

Is sentence(1) different to sentence (2)?
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The sentences sound the same.
    Both are probably correct.
    I would say (1) but not (2) because it sounds clumsy.
    I don't understand why a comma after Mary would make sense? I might, possibly, accept a comma after library.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Actually, neither sentence is correct. Both of them are run-on sentences. You cannot join two independent clauses with only a coordinating conjunction. You need a comma as well as a coordinating conjunction.

    Jane doesn't want to go to the library, but Mary does.

    As for the meaning, it is identical in both sentences.


    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I agree with Panjandrum, in everyday usage, (2) has unnecessary repetition of the verb.


    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think it's not so much the repetition of "want" that bothers me about the second sentence as the lack of "does." That is, I'd be happy with

    Jane doesn't want to go to the library, but Mary does want to.

    which, to be sure, is overly emphatic.

    By the way, Nick, you're right about the fact that normally independent clauses should not be separated by only a conjunction; however, this is allowed if the clauses are short, and the sentence wouldn't be a run-on anyway. A run-on sentence consists of two independent clauses joined by either only a comma or nothing at all. The coordinating conjunction is in fact a sufficient divider, and the comma is used more than anything to avoid misreading and to more clearly demarcate the point at which one clause ends and the other begins.
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