English teachers.....independent clause or phrase?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by pommom, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Dec 15, 2016

    1. The walrus is not here, but the seal is arriving soon.
    2. The walrus is not here but the seal is.

    Number 1 is easily 2 independent clauses.
    Number 2 is either 2 independent clauses or 1 independent clause

    Is "the seal is" an independent clause or a phrase? It does have a subject and a verb, but it is not a complete thought.......
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 15, 2016

    "The seal is" qualifies to be an independent clause since there is a subject and a verb. It sounds kinda short, giving it a feel of not being a clause, but I think it is.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 16, 2016

    Yes, exactly so. An independent clause as a whole can't be conjoined to anything but another independent clause; it doesn't matter that the second clause contains a gap after IS that can be filled by referring back to the first.
     
  5. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2016

    Is this correct?

    She is coming to the party but not now.

    The "but" is not considered a coordinating conjunction because it is not separating 2 independent clauses. "not now" is used as a phrase so a comma is not needed after party.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    No; the conjunction but is always a coordinating conjunction. Like and and or, but can coordinate most two content-word items that are the same grammatically, from full independent clauses ("Linguist checked in first, but TG followed shortly thereafter") through verb phrases ("TG uses too many big words but usually explains well") and noun phrases, though only with negation ("TG reads Latin but not Sanskrit") even down to adjective and adverb phrases ("Grammar is fascinating but full of traps for the unwary": since a single adjective can be an adjective phrase, that's AdjP but AdjP).

    (It just occurred to me that though, which is ordinarily a subordinating conjunction, has begun to be able to coordinate adjectives - and I mean adjectives, not adjective phrases: "TG's to-the-point though pedantic explanations of a grammatical phenomenon tend to digress." The hyphens indicate a phrase squashed into a single adjective. But behold, on the part of though: mission creep!)

    Comma before but is a matter of preference, I think; the comma is useful when what follows is a full and lengthy independent clause and is less necessary as what follows gets (a) shorter and (b) less clause-like. Whether I would use a comma in "She is coming to the party but not now" is likely to depend on whether I want (or feel) a pause before but.
     

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