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Rant: Either "then" or a comma, not both.

Chacham (981) writes | more than 10 years ago

User Journal 7

If a comma is not used then "then" is required.

If a comma is used, "then" is not required.

Either "then" or comma. Not both. To use both is simply inefficient, and quite boring. Why is it so hard to understand?

Hmm.. If a comma is better than then then then is best not used.

If a comma is not used then "then" is required.

If a comma is used, "then" is not required.

Either "then" or comma. Not both. To use both is simply inefficient, and quite boring. Why is it so hard to understand?

Hmm.. If a comma is better than then then then is best not used.

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Different schools, perhaps (1)

superyooser (100462) | more than 10 years ago | (#9312279)

I was taught in school to always use a comma, whether "then" is used or not. If there are phrases between the "if" fragment and the "then" fragment, which are quite common, although they can make it hard for you to find where the phrase giving the consequences of the condition begins, then using both a comma and "then" adds clarity. Reread the previous sentence pretending that the "then" after the last comma isn't there, and I think you'll see what I mean. Even for simple sentences, there's no problem with using both. It's a matter of style and expression, not grammatical correctness.

Re:Different schools, perhaps (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#9313714)

Actually, it is fine. Though, it is a poor example as a comma was already used. The second comma is more to end the fragment rather than to declare the result of the "if".

authoritative source? (1)

capoccia (312092) | more than 10 years ago | (#9314449)

so do we have some authoritative source for this rule? or is it just chacham said so?

Re:authoritative source? (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#9315299)

I believe common sense.

Re:authoritative source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9316813)

Hrm, then I am wrong?

Re:authoritative source? (1)

capoccia (312092) | more than 10 years ago | (#9317171)

seeing as you are not inclined to back up your claim with evidence, i will back up my counter-claim.

http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/commas.htm l [unc.edu]
If you discover that you feel nauseated, then you know you've tried my Clam Surprise.


http://www.dartmouth.edu/~compose/student/ac_paper /grammar.html [dartmouth.edu]
If you have TWO brothers, then the information about the shirt is restrictive, in that it is necessary to defining WHICH brother likes ice cream.
and
However, if you have ONE brother, then the information about the shirt is not necessary to identifying your brother.


all three of these examples demonstrate the "if ..., then ..." structure.

Re:authoritative source? (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#9318088)

Being that either the word "then" or the comma can safely be removed from the sentence, without altering the meaning of it, one of the two must be extra, and thus the writer is inefficient.

Hmm.. perhaps i should write to Ask Oxford with this, and the fraction-bar question.
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