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As shown above, he misses someone mysterious, whoever that is, which confirms to us that the feeling is not happiness nor depression, it is emptiness.

It is a sentence from an essay my friend wrote, and I think putting "it is emptiness" without any coordinating conjunction would be seriously wrong, but he was saying things like independent clause and dependent clause so I could not quite get him. The one I suggested him was this:

As shown above, he misses someone mysterious, whoever that is, which confirms to us that the feeling not happiness nor depression is actually emptiness.

But he said it is not very grammatical. Which one of these sentences is correct then?

  • First, you want to use neither/nor rather than not/nor. What's at the end is a very short independent clause: "it is emptiness." The typical thing to tell him to do would be to use a semicolon before "it is emptiness," but in this case, because it's so short and so closely related to what's come before, a comma will be okay (others might not agree). I'm not sure where you would put a coordinating conjunction and what it would be. – ewormuth Aug 19 '15 at 23:29
  • As shown above, he misses someone mysterious, whoever that is, which confirms to us that the feeling is not happiness nor depression, but it is emptiness. Like this maybe? – likelike Aug 19 '15 at 23:31
  • And also, is my suggestion grammatical if I change "not" to "neither" like this :As shown above, he misses someone mysterious, whoever that is, which confirms to us that the feeling neither happiness nor depression is actually emptiness. – likelike Aug 19 '15 at 23:32
  • You know what, without a context this sentence becomes more difficult to understand when I look at it. But you could say, "which confirms to us that the feeling is neither happiness nor depression, it is emptiness." I think that the original way it was expressed is actually pretty powerful. I don't think you would want to use not/nor/but. That really wouldn't work. You could use a dash before the last clause, also. – ewormuth Aug 20 '15 at 0:01
  • So it is not possible to say "feeling neither happiness nor depression" as " feeling that is neither happiness nor depression"? By the way,this was the essay desribing the tone of narrator. The narrator was not happy or depressed but absent minded. – likelike Aug 20 '15 at 0:06
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The sentence your friend wrote is incorrect because it joins two indepentand clauses with a comma. In other words, you could repalce the comma witha period and get two gramatically correct sentences.

Your version of the sentence, however is also incorrect. I'm assuming that's because you made some typos.

There are a few easy ways to fix the senatnce. You could replace the comma with a period (although that might break things up).

As shown above, he misses someone mysterious, whoever that is, which confirms to us that the feeling is not happiness nor depression. It is emptiness.

You could aslo repace the comma with a semicolen. This is my favorite solution.

As shown above, he misses someone mysterious, whoever that is, which confirms to us that the feeling is not happiness nor depression; it is emptiness.

The simplest thing to do would be to add a conjunction before the sencond clause.

As shown above, he misses someone mysterious, whoever that is, which confirms to us that the feeling is not happiness nor depression, but it is emptiness.

The above varition could be improved by using a conjunctive adverb insead of a conjuntion, but that's really up to your friend.

For more inforation on the correct ue of commas, I reccomend looking at Perdue Owl

  • Comma splices are usually considered incorrect, but in this instance, due to the short length of the independent clause I would say that it was fine. – Jascol Nov 18 '15 at 8:57

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