I really like to speak using my own voice. It doesn't sound natural to write in a way that doesn't use my own voice, so I need to clarify a few things when it comes to connecting clauses.

Say I have a sentence: "This is comparative to someone who is rich, and in the top 1%."

How can I change that sentence so it sounds more like my own voice? I want something like:
"This is comparative to someone who is rich--in the top 1%"

Is that the correct way of doing so, or should I use a colon or semicolon? Generally speaking, I try to avoid colons in all cases except a list.


In your case I think that a long dash, just as you wrote it, could already be clear and acceptable. It isn't included in standard keyboards, but it's easy to find in HTML entities (there are even n-dashes and m-dashes); and common word processors automatically substitute dashes to hyphens when they are surrounded by spaces: "word - word" becomes "word – word" when I type the space after the second word. There's a neat reference at this site.

If you don't like the dash but you still want to express that pause you would add in speech, you can use the colon. It is generally used not just to introduce lists, but more generally to introduce explanations or examples, just like I did above. There's this page for more detail.

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To drop "and" I would use the following:

"This is comparative to someone who is rich (in the top 1%)."

Semi-colon is not appropriate because "in the top..." is a prepositional phrase which modifies "someone," not an independent clause which would stand on its own.

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