Reply to "2 Synonyms in 1 Sentence/ A comma before "and""

David, Moderator posted:

Hello, Blue_Delta_47, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange!

Blue_Delta_47 posted:
I’m wondering whether it looks well-written and, most importantly, grammatically correct to use 2 synonyms at once in my following sentence: 
Pacemaker Cells make up only about 1% of the total number of cardiac muscle cells and constitute the cardiac conduction system.
If it looks well-written and is grammatically correct when the audience read it, do you recommend me using a ‘comma’ after ‘muscle cells’ to prevent it from sounding too long for a sentence?

Your sentence is grammatically correct. There is no rule barring the use of synonymous verbs in a sentence with two coordinated verb phrases. The comma is optional: the sentence is correct with or without it.

What I think would improve the sentence from a stylistic standpoint is making one idea the main idea and the other the background idea, by using a nonrestrictive relative clause:

(A) Pacemaker Cells, which make up only about 1% of the total number of cardiac muscle cells, constitute the cardiac conduction system.

(B) Pacemaker Cells, which constitute the cardiac conduction system, make up only about 1% of the total number of cardiac muscle cells.

Are you sure you want to capitalize "Cells"?

I have only 1 question, David?

From what I understand, a non-restrictive clause is used when referring to something that is expected to be found in an object. For e.g.:

  • The moon, which is ...., <verb> + <object>.
  • The sun, which is, <verb> + <object>.

 

With regards to my sentence, since "which make up only about 1% of the total number of cardiac muscle cells" and "constitute the cardiac conduction" (I can assure they're the unique features of pace maker cells) are unique characteristics of "Pace maker cells", it is compulsory to use a non-restrictive clause in that case. Am I understanding the situation correct?

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