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March 30, 2017

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In the following sentence would I use a colon, semi-colon, comma, or nothing after the word or? (the area in question is marked with *)

Is it the bones and skin that keep us standing upright*:;,?* or is it something bigger than that, something other than the scientific definition of a human?

  • English (Grammar) - ,

    What you have here is a compound sentence -- that is, two sentences (or in this case, two questions) put into one. Between the two independent clauses (in this case, questions) you use a comma and one of the coordinating conjunctions -- in this case, "or."

  • English (Grammar) - ,

    See #2: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/sentences.htm#sentence_types

  • English (Grammar) - ,

    Comma is use after 'or' or any pause.

    Writeacher is right.

  • English (Grammar) - ,

    Alyshan, please be careful about the use of commas after "any pause." Many are just pauses in speech, but have no basis for the use of a comma. The very well stated comma rules in that website above are really nice and concentrated (not too many to remember). Another really good source of information is Lynn Truss's book Eats, Shoots & Leaves. If I'm remembering correctly, she compacts all the comma uses into three general categories, none of which have to do with pauses in speech.

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