I would go for a comma personally, but I'm sure there will be those who will differ.
I agree.I would vote for a colon.
The second part explains the first.
http://www.frugalfun.com/accuratewriting/w1-8.shtmlIt also can be used between two independent clauses, just as a semicolon can. The big difference is that you use a colon to set up reason, evidence, or justification in the second clause.
I would use a colon in formal writing.
SourceThe colon is used to indicate that what follows it is an explanation or elaboration of what precedes it. That is, having introduced some topic in more general terms, you can use a colon and go on to explain that same topic in more specific terms.
1. Don't just inivte every Tom, Dick, and Harry to the party, some could be hoodhums.
What would you place after party, comma, semicolon, or period?
Oh, I certainly didn't mean to do that.'Semicolon' here, as long as the floor is open-- and the correction of a few typos:
Don't invite just every Tom, Dick, and Harry to the party; some could be hoodlums.
I think the colon is overkill; it insults my intelligence.
Joelline said:Are you sure you want to put the comma before the dependent clause ('because some could be hoodlums')? I was taught that one always puts a comma after a dependent clause but rarely before one.
I presume that we have all been mouthing the sentence to ourselves as we pondered our decisions and composed our responses-- and I would guess we all came up with a definite pause as the spoken marker, no matter what written mark we settled upon. Do you think the pause varies in speech with the punctuation assigned it?-- with the exception of the full stop, of course, during which we could easily step into the kitchen, crack a beer and return to the conversation between party and because.Trina said:no-one has tackled the question of whether to use the comma, semicolon, colon or dash in speech.
I don't think it is as simple as that, Joelline. Dependent clauses are subject to the restrictive / non-restrictive dilemma-- and I say 'dilemma' because it is often problematical.
The comma is slipperier than other punctuation marks anyway (which can be good or bad-- good for the descriptivists, bad for the prescriptivists). Let me ask you whether you conceive these two sentences (and the use of the comma) differently?--
1-- I wish you wouldn't do that, because I don't like it. (Non-restrictive. 'Don't do it, and I'll give you the reason.')
2-- I wish you wouldn't do that because I don't like it. (Restrictive. 'You're spiting me: you do it because I don't like it.')
Those are my constructs, but whether 'because some could be hoodlums' is limiting or non-limiting is mostly in the mind of the writer; so in the present case we could argue a long time over the righteousness of the comma before because. Still, there is a necessity in the world of punctuation for both options, I think. Huddleston & Pullum call this use of the comma the 'information-packaging function': the comma separates the message into units of information, so that in the case of my #1, the comma indicates that the negative in the main clause does not have scope over the reason in the dependent clause; in #2, it does (which is why we experience the queasy feeling of the double negative).
I am intrigued.[...]
I notice no-one has tackled the question of whether to use the comma, semicolon, colon or dash in speech.
For the record, in case anyone is interested, I use the dash but if I were speaking to a member of the British royal family, I would chose the colon.
Analysing the responses thus far, I would opt for using the semi-colon if speaking to the other type of queen (as per Mr Micawber's suggestion.)
Forgive me,;:.!- I was passing through a cloud of facetiousness and I must have been affected by the fallout!I am intrigued.
Short of using Victor-Borge-style vocalising of punctuation, I don't think anyone could tell which of these I intended in speech.
Ah - facetiousness. The ultimate mitigating factor. It gets me into trouble all the time.Forgive me,;:.!- I was passing through a cloud of facetiousness and I must have been affected by the fallout!
Thank you for the Victor-Borge image,;:. - if more people vocalised their punctuation, we probably would be much clearer as to which is the correct punctuation to use!
Agree with Maxiogee above - what's the comma doing there after "Dick"
it's "Tom, Dick and Harry"
otherwise there's a pause -as if Harry is an afterthought ?
" Tom, Dick, ........................ and Harry " ??
I believe that this scenario would be the only reason to keep the comma.A teacher in a writing class told a story of a will stipulating distribution of an estate. It goes like this:
Tom, Dick, and Harry ---- each gets 1/3.
Tom, Dick and Harry ------ Tom gets 1/2, Dick and Harry together get 1/2.
She recommended keeping the comma.
Thanks for all your help.