Correlative conjunctions and comma..

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sisedesnonis

Senior Member
Italian-Venetian
Hi guys, I must admit that, browsing through the Internet and several well-known dictionaries, I've noticed a certain inconsistency in the usage of comma when there is a correlative conjunctions. The supposed comma of course would be right before the second conjunction. Would you put it? Is there a rule that has something to say in such cases? Thanks.
 
  • sisedesnonis

    Senior Member
    Italian-Venetian
    Please give us a sentence that illustrates your question, so we have a specific example to discuss.
    Ok. Consider the following examples which make use of the same correlative conjuntion (not only... but also), but it goes for all the others too.

    I identified with Denzel Washington not only as an actor but as a person.

    Not only was it raining all day at the wedding but also the band was late.

    Not only did she forget my birthday, but she also didn’t even apologise for forgetting it.

    I've literally copyed and pasted these examples from the Cambridge Dictionary. Why didn't they put a comma in the 2nd examples? After all "the band was late" is a clause, just like "she didn’t even apologise for forgetting it"?
    I don't know. To me it seems they're putting commas totally randomly...
     

    sisedesnonis

    Senior Member
    Italian-Venetian

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    :eek: I'd have something to say about that.

    Anyway, that doesn't explain why the same source is so inconsistent! After all they would've made their choice! So why do they vacilliate between the two?
    I agree about the consistency issue, but the use of the comma there is a choice - say what you like but it is not governed by grammar rules.
     

    sisedesnonis

    Senior Member
    Italian-Venetian
    I agree about the consistency issue, but the use of the comma there is a choice - say what you like but it is not governed by grammar rules.
    Wow!

    Anyway, I'm gonna stick to the basic comma rules, shared by anyone, and I'm gonna put in a comma before a new clause. So, as for the 2nd example, I would've written:
    Not only was it raining all day at the wedding, but also the band was late.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Feel free to put commas where you think they're needed, but don't expect everyone to agree with you.

    On the other hand, please, please don't write "gonna"!
     

    sisedesnonis

    Senior Member
    Italian-Venetian
    Feel free to put commas where you think they're needed, but don't expect everyone to agree with you.

    On the other hand, please, please don't write "gonna"!
    :thumbsup::D
    There may be absolute rules on commas in all situations in Italian, but in English, not so much:)
    Haha ok. Guys, I'm going to (no more "gonnas" after your complaints!;)) write "The New 21st Century's Puncuation Rules", where I'll explain thoroughly all the rules about commas and whatever. Nothing will be left up in the air!:D
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Haha ok. Guys, I'm going to (no more "gonnas" after your complaints!;)) write "The New 21st Century's Puncuation Rules", where I'll explain thoroughly all the rules about commas and whatever. Nothing will be left up in the air!:D
    They will be promptly ignored by native English speakers. They do what they want unless a publisher forces them to adhere to a STYLE guide :D

    [Off-topic comment removed. DonnyB - moderator]
     
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