Grammar Friday

Today’s two grammar tips:

  • People often use the word “since” to mean “because.” For example, someone might say, “He gave me part of his hamburger since he couldn’t eat it all.” In fact, “since” is a preposition of time that indicates the beginning point of an action, as in “I’ve been going to baseball Cardinal games since I was a boy.” On the other hand, “because” introduces the idea of cause or reason for an action: “He gave me part of his hamburger because he couldn’t eat it all.”
  • Don’t use a comma to connect two independent clauses. This is incorrect: “I want to see George Clooney’s new movie, he’s my favorite actor.” Here are some correct alternatives: “I want to see George Clooney’s new movie. He’s my favorite actor.” “I want to see George Clooney’s new movie; he’s my favorite actor.” “I want to see George Clooney’s new movie because he’s my favorite actor.”

 

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2 Responses to Grammar Friday

  1. Ned Maniscalco says:

    Peter, your second example brings to mind the frequent — and incorrect — use of “however” to join independent clauses. “However” is an adverb, not a conjunction. Thus, it is incorrect to say, “I want to see George Clooney’s new movie, however I am too busy.” Instead, separate the clauses with a semicolon (“I want to see George Clooney’s new movie; however, I am too busy.”) or make a complete sentence of each (“I want to see George Clooney’s new movie. However, I am too busy.”)

    Happy Easter and Passover to all.

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