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I'm really unsure how this type of sentence is categorised. My inclination is to replace the comma with 'that'. It certainly feels and looks like a comma splice to me.

  • The pigs are so confident in their control, they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions.
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2 Answers 2

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That is indeed a comma splice, or at least feels enough like one to leave a bad taste in my mouth. You can replace it with the word "that" or better yet, a semicolon:

The pigs are so confident in their control ; they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions

The pigs are so confident in their control that they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions

Note: If you use a semicolon, It may be better to change the word "so" into an adjective of some kind to make the first clause independent, for example:

The pigs are very confident in their control; they fell as if they don't need to justify their actions.

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  • Thanks for this. I think I was swaying towards this to begin with. However, I don't want to change the meaning of the sentence. The sentence is supposed to have a conversational style, so I think it stands as is.
    – Gilwern
    Feb 9, 2021 at 13:58
  • No; << The pigs are so confident in their control, they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions. >> is a comma splice where the two clauses are intended as independent clauses. Correct then is << The pigs are so confident in their control; they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions. >> The 'so' here would be Collins' sense 11. // But without the semicolon (or dash, say), << The pigs are so confident in their control, they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions. >> the second clause should ... Feb 9, 2021 at 15:25
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    be read as a (reduced) that-clause, not independent. << The pigs are so confident in their control[,] [that] they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions. >> The comma would be very unusual if 'that' were not deleted, but is arguably justified if 'that' is deleted, with such long clauses. //// Compare 'I am so happy[,] I could cry'. Feb 9, 2021 at 15:25
  • I could not fix the colon because it's bolded.
    – Lambie
    Jul 8, 2021 at 20:46
  • @EdwinAshworth why not The pigs are so confident in their control they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions?
    – phoog
    Sep 7, 2021 at 20:20
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"The pigs are so confident in their control, they feel as if they don't need to justify their actions."

This is perfectly good English. It is not a comma splice, but rather is a comma used to mean the English word "that".

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  • The comma is superfluous. In German, a comma is required here (even with daß), but in English it's better without the comma.
    – phoog
    Sep 7, 2021 at 20:19

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