2

I know that this sentence is grammatically incorrect, and I know of a few ways to fix the problem, but I don't actually know why it's incorrect and that bothers me.

Climate change is a biological threat, if not constrained it will be a key danger to health and life on Earth.

Any explanation would be appreciated.

  • 3
    It's a comma splice. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 17 '13 at 10:43
  • 2
    I'd use a full-stop after the word threat. It would also help to hammer home the statement 'Climate change is a biological threat' – Dan Hanly Oct 17 '13 at 11:44
  • 1
    Comma is incorrect because a semi-colon is what should have been there. – Kris Oct 17 '13 at 11:50
  • Jordan, You seem to be new here, have you visited ell.stackexchange.com for English Language Learners? – Kris Oct 17 '13 at 11:51
  • Hi Kris - I'm actually a native English speaker. I just don't have particularly good grammatical knowledge (which is unfortunate), but I'm doing what I can to learn more. Thanks though! – imjordanwhite Oct 17 '13 at 20:04
2

As @JanusBahsJacquet stated in the comments above, this is an example of a comma splice. You have used a comma to join two independent clauses. Instead you could use either a period, or a semicolon.

Climate change is a biological threat; if not constrained it will be a key danger to health and life on Earth.

OR

Climate change is a biological threat. If not constrained it will be a key danger to health and life on Earth.

Alternatively, you could add a conjunction (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so) after the comma.

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/indep_clauses.htm

-1

Climate change is the primary clause of this sentence. If the primary clause is followed by a dependent clause, then a comma is not required. If the vice-versa happens, then a comma is required. Consider the following examples.

If it rains today, I will not go to the fair. I will not go to the fair if it rains today.

When Kasun and I were at home, our friends were playing carom. Our friends were playing carom when Kasun and I were at home.

The highlighted clauses in the above sentences are dependent clauses because they cannot stand alone.

  • The sentence you could be analysing this way is: If it is not constrained, it will be a key danger to health and life on Earth. And it needs setting off from Climate change is a biological threat – by a semicolon, or as a separate sentence. The 'it is' may then be omitted, as here. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 17 '13 at 15:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.