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Grammatically, should the comma after "June 28" and before "an" be a comma or a semicolon in the example below?

Refunding bonds for Improvement Area No. 1 of Community Facilities District No. 3 were sold Tuesday, July 27, after Council’s approval on June 28, an action which supports the city’s Mission as well as the organizational value of stewardship.

Thanks!

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    The comma is fine. – GoldenGremlin Jul 27 '16 at 21:26
  • A comma seems natural; I would always favour it over a semi-colon which can be tricky to use. – BladorthinTheGrey Jul 27 '16 at 21:34
  • Thanks for the information! I was hoping for the "rules," so to speak, on whether or not the comma or semicolon "should be" used in this situation. Do you know what the rules are in this case? – Aaron Jul 27 '16 at 21:43
  • The statement needs to be broken into 2 sentences. See my answer below. – SyntaxGoonoo Jul 28 '16 at 10:42
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The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style clearly explains that the use of semicolon (usually described as a super comma) is meant for 'a distinct break than a comma can signal.' It also makes it clear that a semicolon is called for when we have to separate, 'clauses of similar importance and grammatical construction.'

In this case, the first part is a main clause and a full-fledged sentence in its own right. The second part is not a main clause and is joined with the first part only as an explanatory addition. As such, this does not call for a semicolon. The comma would do.

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Use a comma because "an action" describes or modifies the previous clause; it is not an independent thought that could stand on its own as a sentence. (I'm not sure why Mission is capitalized, but if you think that's how it should be, I'm not going to question it.)

  • Thanks for the answer! And thanks for the catch on "mission." – Aaron Jul 28 '16 at 16:30
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The statement should broken into 2 sentences, with better placement of the commas. The word mission should be lower case.

"Refunding bonds for Improvement Area No. 1 of Community Facilities District No. 3, were sold Tuesday July 27, after Council’s approval on June 28. This action supports the city’s mission as well as the organizational value of stewardship."

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