Challenge: Semicolon or Comma?
For each sentence replace the X with a semicolon or a comma.
- The house had a huge master suiteX but the back yard was paved with asphalt.
- The kids loved their new, separate bedroomsX their parents loved the separate den.
- The renters can store their skis in the outdoor lockerX the owners can store their belongings in the padlocked walk-in closet.
- The new house had a view of the oceanX and a park, and the driveway had room for up to five vehicles.
- A music room was the dream of the husbandX but the wife really wanted a screened-in porch.
Please post your answers below as comments.
Answers to Last Week's Challenge
Just as the fact of a grammar loophole would indicate, the answers to last week's challenge on plural versus singular showed some disagreement. Here are the answers as given by Kathi Reynolds. She provided her logic for each choice but see below to learn how much variation there was.
- The audience waved their hands in the air.
<<I assume the audience waved more than one hand in the air!>>
- The kids stood on their chairs.
<<Even though each kid had one chair, using the singular made it seem as if all the kids were standing on one chair.>>
- The diners raised their glasses.
<<It sounded better with plural, and isn't it possible that the diners could raise more than one glass if they were exuberant enough?>>
- Despite the economic setback, the renters all paid their rent.
- The kids all looked at their iPad.
<<Each kid had one iPad--unless they were sharing! So to me the plural could also sound fine.>>
- The learners clicked their right mouse button.
<<Each learner only has one button, so I left it singular.>>
- The employees entered their clients' names into the database.
<<Employees can have more than one client, hence the plural.>>
hands and rent--100%
glasses, button, and names--65%
All other answers had 53% or less agreement. The lowest was client's, with only 24% going with the singular.
So I rest my case. Sometimes even if each person had only one of something, most people still like plural--as in kids...chairs. I think that is because the singular can make it sound like all of the kids were teetering on top of just one chair. But everyone agrees that renters pay...rent. If you added an s, it would sound as though each person had to pay more than one rent. So, everyone, enjoy this grammar loophole by making your own case-by-case decisions.