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82riceballs

a punctuation problem

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82riceballs

i'm wondering if the following sentence needs a comma in the parenthesized spot or not:

我們十點多才起床(,)所以中餐和早餐一起吃。

In general, what are a few rules regarding commas that are important to know? Are the Chinese rules of placement of commas the same as those in English? They should be, shouldn't they?

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littleknight23

A comma is needed here.

As regards the rules of commas, how to say, perhaps they are partly the same as those in English. It depends on the situation. Generally speaking, they are the same.

For example, “it was so late that we had to go to school by taxi”。太晚了,所以我们不得不坐计程车去上学。As you see, a comma is needed here in the English sentence, but not needed in the Chinese sentence. It rests with the structure of the sentence.

By the way, I am a native Chinese. So there may be some mistakes in my English expressions, but almost never in my Chinese. I work as a copywriter.

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cipher

Yes, you need to place a comma there.

Generally you will be good when placing comma in a sentence where it is also necessary in English. But one exeption that I can think of right now

In English, in a seires ot three or more terms with a single conjuction, a comma is needed after each term except the last.

For example: There are different colors such as red, white, and blue.

But in Chinese, you probably should use "、“ instead of the first "," in above context. And the second comma is unnecessary.

这里有红色、白色和蓝色。

Another example: He opened the letter, read it, and made a note of its contents.

In this case, comma should be used as it seperates (verb+object) rather than terms

他打开那封信,读了一遍,然后做了笔记。

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adrianlondon

In English, you're not meant to put a comma before the word "and".

So it becomes "There are different colours such as red, white and blue."

Being anally retentive I also changed "color" to "colour" ;)

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muyongshi

I think that depends on the "standard" used. I was taught in a list of more than 4 you need that last comma and in the US it is color but I accept you just the way you are :mrgreen:

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cipher

In terms of "serial" comma that I mentioned in my first post, it is true the last one before the "and" can be omitted.

However, in cases that the list is complex or lenghy, if you don't use this comma, the last two items in the list will try to glom together. Using a comma between all the items in a series, including the last two, avoids this problem.

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adrianlondon
I accept you just the way you are

Cheers, me ol' china.

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cipher

Another 2 usages of comma in Chinese, which are nonexistent in English (native English speakers please correct me):

1. Comma between subject and predicate of a sentence if the subject is lenthy or intentionally emphasized. For example:

我们在晴朗的夜晚看得见的星星,绝大多数是恒星。(lenthy subject)

教育,是任何国家都非常重视的问题。(intentionally emphasized)

2. Comma between verb and its object in a sentence.

应该看到,科学需要一个人贡献出毕生的精力。

The comma here is kinda like an equivalent of "that" in English which leads an objective clause.

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82riceballs

the differences b/w US and England is funny...

i read in a some books (e.g. Falling Leaves or Chinese Cinderella where the author studied in England), there is no comma before "and's," like how adrianlondon explained.

in American books, it is pretty much different. however, strangely enough, i was taught that u should not put commas before "or's."

thanks!

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littleknight23

Sorry, I made a great mistake with carelessness

Just gave the opposite meaning…

The correct one is:

For example, “it was so late that we had to go to school by taxi”。太晚了,所以我们不得不坐计程车去上学。As you see, a comma is not needed here in the English sentence, but needed in the Chinese sentence.

it seems that I can not use the "Quote"

because I am not advanced enough so I have no right to use it?

or...

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82riceballs

good question!

quotes are only meant for parts or sections of complete works.

for example, chapter titles are quoted, whereas book titles are underlined or italicized.

e.g. In the book, Treasure Island, there is a chapter called "The Black Spot".

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