1

I am trying to determine how to write the following sentence correctly:

"We all have goals we would like to accomplish and dreams we would like to fulfill."

I am not sure if I should add a comma before the 'and', which would make the sentence look like this:

"We all have goals we would like to accomplish, and dreams we would like to fulfill."

Are the two clauses in this sentence independent? If they are then the second option is the correct one. Do you have any tips on how to determine if two clauses are independent? Thank you for your time!

  • Well, to start with, the sentence has more than two clauses; secondly, it has been done things to, so that some of the evidence has been destroyed. The main clauses are conjoined, so that conjunction reduction has applied, while relative clause formation and that-Deletion destroyed the evidence, not to mention A-Equi in the infinitive clauses and Quantifier-float to move all to an adverbial position. – John Lawler Dec 15 '16 at 3:07
  • 1
    No: it is a coordination, but of NPs, not main clauses: "We all have [goals we would like to accomplish] and [dreams we would like to fulfil]." It could be expanded into an equivalent main-clause coordination, though: "[We all have goals we would like to accomplish] and [we all have dreams we would like to fulfil].", but the repetition is unnecessary and pedantic. Prototypical independent (main) clauses require a subject and a finite VP as predicate, and can stand alone as a sentence. A comma is not required. – BillJ Dec 15 '16 at 18:15
1

This sentence has only one independent clause, but it does contain two dependent clauses.

Goals we would like to accomplish and dreams we would like to fulfill are two direct objects of the verb have. Each contains a reduced relative clause (dependent), everything except the first word in both cases.

Removing these dependent clauses leaves We all have goals and dreams, which is quite obviously a single independent clause.

-1

If the clause can stand as its own sentence, it is independent. "We all have goals we would like to accomplish" is independent.

"dreams we would like to fulfill" is missing a subject (it is implied in the previous clause).

If you want to conjoin two independent clause that have equal weight the best way to do that is with a semi-colon.

We all have goals we would like to accomplish; We all have dreams we would like to fulfill.

That said, the easiest way to decide if the comma is necessary is to eliminate some of the "fluff."

So rewrite the sentence "We all have goals and dreams." Do you need the comma? No. But doing the process leads into another question: do you need the fluff?

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.