Punctuation Puzzle: George Washington Carver—Compound Sentences!

I’m bringing back the Punctuation Puzzle! Many readers said they enjoyed these puzzles….so I will be bringing you one each week. (I love them too!)

For your Character Ink Cottage Class kids and others with upper level students, do these with them! They will be so good for their grammar and usage skill development!

 

Here’s the Puzzle:

George Washington Carver had a driving force for knowledge that would reside within him for the rest of his life because of this he became successful in everything he did.

 

1. There are two complete sentences (CS) here:

a. George Washington Carver had a driving force for knowledge that would reside within him for the rest of his life.

b. Because of this he became successful in everything he did.

 

2. Because there are two complete sentences (CS) there, I would place a semicolon between the two (though you could put a period and capitalize the second half and have two separate sentences, if desired).

George Washington Carver had a driving force for knowledge that would reside within him for the rest of his life; because of this he became successful in everything he did.

 

3. When you have a compound sentence, you have to treat each sentence separately in terms of its punctuation. Thus, you need to examine the first half of the sentence (the first “real” sentence of the compound sentence) to see if it needs any other punctuation. Then you must do the same with the second half.

a. George Washington Carver had a driving force for knowledge that would reside within him for the rest of his life. (NO punctuation needed within first half)

b. Because of this, he became successful in everything he did.(I WOULD place a comma following the short prepositional phrase [PP] opener “Because of this” simply because I hear a pause following it. {The rules for commas following short PP openers are subjective and usually based on voice inflection or clarity achieved by the use of a comma. We teach liberal comma use following sentence openers in our programs.})

 

4. Thus, my final verdict on punctuating this compound and slightly complex sentence is as follows:

George Washington Carver had a driving force for knowledge that would reside within him for the rest of his life; because of this, he became successful in everything he did.

 

Little Addendum Lesson!

George Washington Carver had a driving force for knowledge that would reside within him for the rest of his life; because of this, he became successful in everything he did.

 

1. One of the only uses for semicolons is to create a compound sentence (without having to use a coordinating conjunction For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So–FANBOYS–since these words may give additional meaning).

2. Benchmark for creating compound—are the two halves of the sentence extremely linked? In the case above, they are so intertwined that they actually form a cause and effect of sorts. Closely linked sentences are good candidates for creating compound sentences.

Punctuation really is a puzzle, isn’t it? 🙂

Save

Subscribe!

...and download my Kid's Faves list plus get access to my language arts freebies!

Powered by ConvertKit

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This