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I would like to know whether the word "Consequently" can be followed by a verb without being separated by a comma! For instance, "His actions consequently led to the destruction of that beautiful car!"

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  • Yes, that's fine. Use it in good health.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 15:01
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    Note that there are two senses which 'consequently' can carry: << Adv. 1. consequently - (sentence connectors) because of the reason given [in the previous sentence etc] ; "consequently, he didn't do it"; "continued to have severe headaches and accordingly returned to the doctor" accordingly // 2. consequently - as a consequence ; "he had good reason to be grateful for the opportunities which they had made available to him and which consequently led to the good position he now held" therefore >> (Based on ... Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 15:38
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    WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc. ) and that some might prefer the commas to ensure that the pragmatic marker (sentence connector) usage is understood. But I think that the true adverb usage would be redundant with 'led to'. – Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 15:38

1 Answer 1

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The word 'consequently' has two meanings, as highlighted earlier.

According to the Free Dictionary;

  1. Consequently (adverb): As a result; therefore.
  2. Consequently (sentence connector): as a result or effect; therefore; hence
  1. The first form of the word 'consequently' is generally followed by a verb, normally without a comma.

E.g.

Since then, I have consequently become a Princeton professor.

Tomorrow, I will consequently write my GCSE Examination.

As Edwin Ashworth said in a comment, this form is best paraphrased by 'inevitably'.

This form of 'consequently' is not usually followed by a comma.

  1. In the second form of consequently, the word is almost always followed by a comma, followed by the pronoun 'it', or any other noun (or its equivalents like other pronouns).

E.g.

  • A prism looks like four triangles joined edge to edge. Consequently, it has four vertices and six edges.

  • I am not as good as Robert at kayaking; consequently, I must practise more than him.

  • Kelly was smarter than Martin; consequently, Martin needed to prove his worth to his master.

  • I am in lockdown because of the present coronavirus pandemic, and consequently, I need my daughter to do a weekly shopping run.
  • I can't work and consequently I can't pay my bills.

Again, as user Edwin Ashworth said in a comment, it is best paraphrased by 'for this reason'.

This form of the word is generally followed by a comma, though as the last example shows, this is not a strict rule. Note that the main clauses are short in that example. If there is the usual comma after this form of consequently, there will always be heavy-duty punctuation immediately before it (a semicolon etc, or full stop) or some punctuation before the 'and' (usually a comma).

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  • You fail to pick up on the two usages of 'consequently': (a) the pragmatic marker paraphrasing 'for the reason/s just given' // (b) the adverb meaning 'as a direct result of the situation just described'. (a) sometimes works where (b) doesn't. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 15:48
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    (a) 'He was very frugal; consequently, he always used the bus rather than a taxi.' (not a direct result – he was still free to take a taxi any time he liked. Paraphrased by 'for this reason'.) (b) 'The fire had too good a hold – the factory was consequently destroyed.' (an inevitable consequence. Paraphrased by 'inevitably'.) Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 15:59

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