Do Not Break Sentences in Two

[If you would like this quote as a Word document to use as a teaching and learning support, here it is.]

“6. Do not break sentences in two.

In other words, do not use periods for commas.

I met them on a Cunard liner many years ago. Coming home from Liverpool to New York.

She was an interesting talker. A woman who had traveled all over the world and lived in half a dozen countries.

In both these examples, the first period should be replaced by a comma and the following word begun with a small letter.
It is permissible make an emphatic word or expression serve the purpose of a sentence and to punctuate it accordingly.

Again and again he called out. No reply.

The writer must, however, be certain that the emphasis is warranted, lest a clipped sentence seem merely a blunder in syntax or in punctuation. Generally speaking, the place for broken sentences is in dialogue, when a character happens to speak in clipped or fragmentary way….”

Excerpted from: Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2000.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.