Which sentence is best? Can I use the colon in the 2nd one? Is "that" or "which" the best?

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The words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad” encourage us to look beyond appearances that are often unreliable.
 

The words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow encourage us to look beyond appearances, which are often unreliable: “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”   

asked Feb 11 '13 at 20:43 Susan New member

3 answers


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I greatly prefer the second sentence, which does a much better job of setting up the quote, thus making the whole sentiment more compelling.

 

"Which" is correct. Using "that" in this context would restrict your meaning to only those appearances that are unreliable. In this case, you're talking about all appearances, so the non-restrictive "which" is approrpriate.

link comment answered Feb 11 '13 at 22:23 Actually Holly Expert
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I agree with Holly. Also, yes you do need the colon in your second text.

link comment answered Feb 12 '13 at 01:11 Shawn Mooney Expert
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But the semicolon is incorrectly used. Becase the conjunction "and" follows the semicolon, it should properly be a comma.

 

Of course, if it is in the original quote, you cannot change it.

link answered Feb 12 '13 at 04:29 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

Good catch. I googled the quote, and most versions have both the conjunction and the semicolon; a few, however, correct it.

Shawn MooneyFeb 12 '13 at 12:42

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