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Hi David, I have been using the above example, "Mr. Smith pushed Mrs. Smith during a verbal altercation," in my writing at work, but I am now wondering if it gives the wrong impression.  I'm trying to express the fact that the perpetrator is using physical force while yelling at the victim.  Does "verbal altercation" imply that the parties are both yelling at each other?  Would it be more accurate to say, "Mr. Smith pushed Mrs. Smith while yelling at her."       

@Jacob B. posted:

Hi David, I have been using the above example, "Mr. Smith pushed Mrs. Smith during a verbal altercation," in my writing at work, but I am now wondering if it gives the wrong impression.  I'm trying to express the fact that the perpetrator is using physical force while yelling at the victim.  Does "verbal altercation" imply that the parties are both yelling at each other?  Would it be more accurate to say, "Mr. Smith pushed Mrs. Smith while yelling at her."       

Yes, "verbal altercation" does imply that both parties were yelling. If you mean that Mr. Smith pushed Mrs. Smith while yelling at her, you should say that.

Last edited by David, Moderator

Regarding the word while

Yes, "verbal altercation" does imply that both parties were yelling. If you mean that Mr. Smith pushed Mrs. Smith while yelling at her, you should say that.

Regarding the word while, I've used it above to indicate something happening at the same time.  If I was going to use it to mean "on the other hand" or "alternatively", would I need a comma?  For example:

Child A went to live in FL, while Child B stayed in NYS.

Last edited by Jacob B.

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