Posts Tagged ‘ conjunction ’

Teasing Trevor: When To Use A Comma With Dependent Clauses

Do you know which of these sentences needs another comma?

A. I liked the angle of Trevor’s jaw so I winked at him.
B. He surprised me when he sustained eye contact and circled his lips with his tongue.
C. I wanted to chew on those lips which seemed so juicy and pink.

Examples A & C each need a comma added but for different reasons.

Both clauses in Example A could stand on their own as complete sentences. They are independent clauses, and you need a conjunction (in this case, so) and a comma if you want to stick them together.

I liked the angle of Trevor’s jaw.

I winked at him.

I liked the angle of Trevor’s jaw, so I winked at him.

Example C also contains two clauses.

1. I wanted to chew on those lips.

2. Seemed so juicy and pink.

But the second clause doesn’t work as a complete sentence, does it? Example C combines a dependent clause and an independent clause, and they need a comma between them.

I wanted to chew on those lips, which seemed so juicy and pink.

Example B also combines an independent clause and a dependent clause, but these two clauses don’t need a comma between them.

independent clause: He surprised me

dependent clause: when he sustained eye contact and circled his lips with his tongue.

complete sentence: He surprised me when he sustained eye contact and circled his lips with his tongue.

What’s the difference between Example B’s dependent clause and Example C’s dependent clause? Why does one need a comma and not the other?

B. He surprised me when he sustained eye contact and circled his lips with his tongue.
C. I wanted to chew on those lips, which seemed so juicy and pink.

In Example B, the dependent clause changes the meaning of the sentence. Trevor didn’t just surprise the narrator in general. Trevor surprised the narrator by sustaining eye contact and circling his lips with his tongue. This dependent clause is restrictive. It restricts the meaning of the sentence. With restrictive dependent clauses, you don’t need a comma.

By contrast, the dependent clause in Example C simply adds description. It’s nonrestrictive. Take it away, and the meaning of the sentence remains the same. The narrator wants to chew Trevor’s lips. And by the way–not that it changes things at all–those lips seem juicy and pink. With restrictive dependent clauses, you need a comma.

Here are a few more examples:

nonrestrictive dependent clause—needs commas: His eyes, when they sustained contact with mine, surprised me.

restrictive dependent clause—no comma needed: I wanted to chew on the parts of him that seemed juicy and pink.

nonrestrictive dependent clause—needs a comma: I touched Trevor’s knee, which got his attention.

restrictive dependent clause—no comma needed: Trevor’s knee wasn’t the part of him that I really wanted to touch.

At Sexy Grammar, we teach writers to create tight, juicy, scantily clad sentences, and we combine sexually explicit examples with grammar instruction. You can be a sexy writer, and we can teach you how.

Check out more Sexy Grammar lessons. Get a Private Session with the Sexy Grammarian.

Eroica’s Erotica, Episode 5: Sentences With Complex Predicates

Pardon me, for this blog post contains sexually explicit examples or content. If you are under the age of 18 or just uncomfortable with sexually explicit material, you may want to check out one of these sites about grammar and writing instead.

Don’t confuse compound sentences, in which both independent clauses have their own subject, with sentences that have complex predicates, in which the second verb phrase shares the main subject of the sentence with the first and no comma is needed.

I cleared my throat and parted my lips. Continue reading

Eroica’s Erotica, Episode 4: Compound Sentences

Pardon me, for this blog post contains sexually explicit examples or content. If you are under the age of 18 or just uncomfortable with sexually explicit material, you may want to check out one of these sites about grammar and writing instead.

Once you’ve got a handle on how to recognize fragments and complete sentences, you can start playing with the infinite possibilities for organizing a complete sentence.

Using conjunctions and commas, you can combine elements of a sentence to create compound sentences.

I wanted to read something sexy back to her, so I took the dog-eared book from Eroica.

This is an excellent example of a compound sentence.  There are two complete, independent clauses here—sentences in their own right, with subjects and predicates of their own. Continue reading

Good Grammar in Takedown Scenes

Pardon me, for this blog post contains sexually explicit examples or content. If you are under the age of 18 or just uncomfortable with sexually explicit material, you may want to check out one of these sites about grammar and writing instead.

Dear Sexy Grammarian:

I know I’d offered to write a guest column on this topic, but I’m
noticing you recently entertained a reader question and thought I’d
submit this instead.  Hope it’s not too racy for your blog. Continue reading

FANBOYS, or How To Remember Conjunctions

In an earlier Sexy Grammar Trick, you learned to use a comma to fuse two independent clauses, but you need a conjunction too. So, Raeme, The Sexy Grammarian’s intern brings you today’s Sexy Grammar Trick, a great way to remember conjunctions.

Before we get into conjunctions, let’s make sure we understand independent clauses.

An independent clause (essentially a sentence) is composed of a subject, a verb, and, sometimes, an adjective or adverb.

Marina walks. [Subject and verb]

Pretty Marina walks. [Adjective, subject and verb]

Marina walks joyfully. [Subject, verb, and adverb]

Pretty Marina walks joyfully. [Adjective, subject, verb and adverb]

You can combine two independent clauses using a conjunction—a  word that joins two separate sentences. The most common conjunctions are the FANBOYS, or:

For

And

Nor

But

Or

Yet

So

Marina walks joyfully, for she rather enjoys the springtime.

The sentence Marina walks joyfully can stand alone, just as the sentence She rather enjoys the springtime can stand alone.

These independent clauses can  unite into one compound sentence by the conjunction for and a comma, which is placed after the first clause and before the conjunction.

Let’s try a few more:

She loved his personality, and she found him pleasing physically.

He did not love his secretary, nor did he want anything more than a fling with her.

He would have liked to kiss her when she said goodbye, but he knew her timid disposition would prevent her from accepting his advances.

I would enjoy some ice cream, or I might even have  a cup of iced tea.

She was ready to eat dinner, yet she wanted to give her husband a proper welcome home.

She was stranded outside of the hotel, so she called a taxicab.

Comma Sense: But She Closed Her Legs

Compound Sentences: Use a comma to separate two independent clauses.

He lowered himself to her vulva, but she closed her legs.

Now you try:

Samson fell asleep after having sex and Delilah cut off all his hair.
Our round bed promised to vibrate for a quarter so we put one into the machine.

Comma Sense: Your Kiss Is On My List

Series with conjunction: Separate each item in any list with a comma—even the last item and its conjunction.

Before I whip you, I will need your consent, your lover’s consent, and all your clothes.

Now you try:

Ankles and ear lobes had always been sexier to her than the typical tits ass and thighs.
Reach across me so you can turn off the light get a condom and give me a kiss.