General Writing and Grammar Help/Meaning of "paid dearly"

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted,
I'm not sure if I'm using the expression "paid dearly" correctly in the following sentence. In other words, does the following sentence make sense and is it grammatically correct?
"I paid dearly for my success, my wife divorced me because I was always at work and never spent any time with her."

Answer
Dear Glen:

I'm not sure if I'm using the expression "paid dearly" correctly in the
following sentence. In other words, does the following sentence make sense and
is it grammatically correct?
"I paid dearly for my success, my wife divorced me because I was always at work
and never spent any time with her."

*** You have used the phrase correctly.  "To pay dearly" means that you are paying a very high
cost.  The phrase also suggests, even though it is not directly stated, that while you were gaining ONE thing, you were losing ANOTHER thing.  I paid a dear price for that painting, so I will not be taking any vacations this year.

You do have an error in punctuation, Glen.  You begin with one independent clause that ends with the word "success."  "My wife divorced me" begins another clause.  You cannot join two independent clauses with JUST a comma. [The error is called a "comma splice."] Use a conjunction OR use a semi-colon in place of the comma.

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.