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Posted by on Monday, November 17, 2008 at 6:32pm.

In an essay I recently wrote, I wrote the following two sentences: "Natural selection. By examining the meaning of each of these words, the meaning of the entire phrase becomes pellucid: natural selection is the selection of traits by nature."

I understand that "natural selection" by itself is not a complete sentence and is therefore a fragment; however, i wanted there to be a pause, so that the reader stopped for a moment and reflected on the phrase before continuing to read. I feel like I've read this kind of structure before, but I feel like making natural selection its own sentence by using a period is not correct grammar. Is there a way I could change this? Would a dash or colon instead of a period make the sentence(s) more correct?

  • English/Grammar - , Monday, November 17, 2008 at 6:34pm

    I get what you mean about that and i would leave the period but it depends... what come before that sentence?

  • English/Grammar - , Monday, November 17, 2008 at 6:45pm

    It was the start of a new paragraph; the sentence concluding the previous paragraph was: "The addition of this phrase added an entirely new dimension to Darwin's work; even though Darwin added this new descriptive term to further clarify the original title, "survival of the fittest" invoked feelings of competition and superiority that "natural selection" did not."

  • English/Grammar - , Monday, November 17, 2008 at 6:45pm

    Kelly -- Use a colon (:) instead of the period after "selection."

  • English/Grammar - , Monday, November 17, 2008 at 8:10pm

    Thank you, I had a feeling that was more correct; however, I then end up with two colons in one sentence. Is this incorrect? I've never run into a situation in which I needed to use more than one.

  • English/Grammar - , Monday, November 17, 2008 at 7:06pm

    i think you would use a colon too

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