comma with shared object: aggressive toward,and blaming,the other

Kili

Member
Turkish-İZMİR
Is it possible that both sides have spent ....long being aggressive towards,and blaming,the other....the origins of the dispute have been forgotten?

A)such /that
B)more /than
C)as / as
D)much /more
E)so / that


Hello. The answer seems to be "E" but can you please check if there are any comma mistakes? Especially the "and blaming" between the two commas buffle me. I think the "comma" before "the other" and after "and blaming" is wrong. What do you think?
 
  • WongFeiHung

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi I would put it this way:
    "Is it possible that both sides have sent so long being aggressive, and blaming, towards the other that the origins of the dispute have been forgotten?"
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I think because "blaming" is an action and "being aggressive" is a state, "blaming" should go first. (I suppose "blaming" could be being used as a gerund here, but it's an awkward one.)

    Therefore I would suggest:
    "Is it possible that both sides have spent so long blaming and being aggressive towards each other that the origins of the dispute have been forgotten?"

    I think "both sides" should be matched with "each other" because it is mutual. I wouldn't use any commas in this, but commas are a vexed issue!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It's not a great sentence, but E is right and I think the comma is right too. If I write this as two sentences, the meaning and the form words might become clear.
    Is it possible that both sides have spent so long being aggressive towards the other that the origins of the dispute have been forgotten?

    Is it possible that both sides have spent so long blaming the other that the origins of the dispute have been forgotten?

    These can be put together using "bracketing commas" and a conjunction, as in the original sentence.

    It would have been better written as
    ... both sides ... each other ...
    or
    ... each side ... the other ...


     

    AWordLover

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I agree that the problem is the word "blaming" how about replacing it with "casting blame".
    "Is it possible that both sides have sent so long being aggressive, and casting blame, towards the other that the origins of the dispute have been forgotten?" (working from WFH's post)
     
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