Hi everyone, 
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? 
Pacemaker Cells make up only about 1% of the total number of cardiac muscle cells, and constitute the cardiac conduction system.
Original Quote: 
‘Pacemaker cells make up only about 1% of the total number of cardiac muscle cells. There are three populations of these cells in the heart that are capable of spontaneously generating action potentials and setting the pace of the heart. These three cell populations are collectively called the cardiac conduction system. After looking at how pacemaker cells generate action potentials, we’ll cover the components of the cardiac conduction system’ (Amerman 2019).
Thank you!
Original Post

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"?

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?

Hi, Blue_Delta_47, and welcome to G.E.

I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by:

a non-restrictive clause is used when referring to something that is expected to be found in an object

Non-restrictive or non-defining clauses are used to add extra information about the noun. I personally found David's comment and the ensuing solution perfect:

What I think would improve the sentence from a stylistic standpoint is making one idea the main idea and the other the background idea

The fact that some information appears between commas in a non-restrictive clause does not make it sound as information that belongs to the public domain, that is, as information that is known by everyone and has therefore secondary importance when making a scientific claim (if that is what you mean by "something that is expected to be found in an object"). (A) and (B) merely provide a more elegant version of the idea you want to convey: instead of using a compound predicate including the rather simple conjunction "and," why not use a more complex sentence with a relative clause? Please note that we are not speaking about grammatical correctness (your original sentences are grammatically correct), but about improving the style.

Gustavo, Contributor posted:

Hi, Blue_Delta_47, and welcome to G.E.

I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by:

a non-restrictive clause is used when referring to something that is expected to be found in an object

Non-restrictive or non-defining clauses are used to add extra information about the noun. I personally found David's comment and the ensuing solution perfect:

What I think would improve the sentence from a stylistic standpoint is making one idea the main idea and the other the background idea

The fact that some information appears between commas in a non-restrictive clause does not make it sound as information that belongs to the public domain, that is, as information that is known by everyone and has therefore secondary importance when making a scientific claim (if that is what you mean by "something that is expected to be found in an object"). (A) and (B) merely provide a more elegant version of the idea you want to convey: instead of using a compound predicate including the rather simple conjunction "and," why not use a more complex sentence with a relative clause? Please note that we are not speaking about grammatical correctness (your original sentences are grammatically correct), but about improving the style.

Thanks GUSTAVO, for your clarification. I was on my placement in an aged care facility, so I didn't have time to check the reply.

What I was trying to ask about was the distinct characteristics of non-relative clauses and relative clauses. Although I've learnt about both, I am still rather confused about their usage.

  • A non-relative clause is characterised by pronouns when, which,... followed by a clause, and a comma before the pronoun and the other at the end of the clause itself. What I was wondering was whether 'non-relative clause' to add extra information about 'the obvious/predictable/unique/universal' features of an object.

 

  • Example is 'lions can only eat meat'. In this case I can put the info only eat meat as part of the non-relative clause:
    • Lions, which only eat meat, are fine predators 
  • However, another example is "lions that are genetically modified only eat plants". In this case I cannot use non-relative clauses because 'genetically modified only eat plant' is not 'universally/globally known or understanding or features of regular lions'. Thus:
    • Lions, which are genetically modified, only eat plants.
    • Lions, which only eat plants, are genetically modified.
    • However, it is correct to say:
      • Lions, which only eat meats, may eat plants if they are genetically modified.

Am I understanding the situation the correct way?

Thanks

 

 

Hello, Blue_Delta_47,

What I was trying to ask about was the distinct characteristics of non-relative clauses and relative clauses. 

Please note that you should refer to relative clauses as being restrictive or non-restrictive. Both types of clauses, restrictive and non-restrictive (or defining and non-defining) are relative or adjectival.

I liked your examples about the lions. You main question seems to revolve around this:

What I was wondering was whether 'non-relative clause' to add extra information about 'the obvious/predictable/unique/universal' features of an object.

The answer is yes (provided we understand that you refer to "non-restrictive" clauses, that is, those set off by commas). They do add extra information, and that extra information, no matter how obvious, predictable, unique or universal it may be, can actually enlighten some reader or listener who happened to ignore it.

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