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  • I can no longer remember her face, too much time has passed.

  • I can no longer remember her face; too much time has passed.

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The second seems fine. Is there a specific query you have, or is it just the comma/semi-colon? –  Karl Apr 9 '11 at 1:14
    
Shouldn't it be 'too much time had passed?' –  Thursagen May 7 '11 at 1:47
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

No. The first is a comma splice. Both I can no longer remember her face and too much time has passed are independent clauses. They should be separated by a colon, semicolon or period, or linked by a conjunction. An excellent choice for this example is for:

I can no longer remember her face, for too much time has passed.

The second example is grammatically correct, as both independent clauses are aptly separated by a semicolon:

I can no longer remember her face; too much time has passed.


Here is the Strunk & White (Elements of Style) reference:

Do not join independent clauses by a comma.

If two or more clauses, grammatically complete and not joined by a conjunction, are to form a single compound sentence, the proper mark of punctuation is a semicolon.

Read more...

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