Grammar 10


Breaking the Rules (3)

Consider this sentence:

Is that sentence punctuated correctly? Absolutely not! By now you know that there are only two ways to join independent clauses:

The word "then" is not a fanboy; it's an adverb. Therefore, the sentence is incorrect. To splice those clauses correctly, we would have to rewrite it in one of the following ways:

Nonetheless, many professional writers consider "then" to be an honorary fanboy, and they wouldn't object too strongly to using ", then" instead of ", and then" to splice two clauses.

It's another case of: If you know the rules of grammar, you are allowed to break them.

Here are some more examples:

In this lesson, you will write write a sentence with two clauses. Join them together with "comma then" (, then).

Attention! If you write a sentence in which one person does two different things, restate the subject of the second clause!


Note: Keep in mind that you are writing a sentence that is grammatically incorrect!

And you should probably never do it again—unless you become a professional writer. Only after you have mastered the rules of grammar are you allowed to break them!

Lesson Steps

  1. Open your writing portfolio.
    • Level 10
      • Breaking the Rules (3)
  2. Write a compound sentence with two short clauses. Join the clauses with "and" but leave out the comma. Each clause should have a different subject.

  3. When you are finished, return to this page and take the quiz.

Instructions for Quiz

Answer the questions.