Help explain this sentence

Yes Jody, I would myself use the handbrake and keep it in gear on the flat or a hill, you don’t have to keep it in gear if you don’t want to but it’s just another safety precaution incase the handbrake fails, I will see you tomorrow at 9am in the car park.

I am looking for help with the structure of the above sentence. Is the suggestion of using the handbrake and keeping it in gear separate to the ‘you don’t have to’ statement or is the ‘you don’t have to’ related only to the or a hill statement. Does the you don’t have to statement apply to the whole of the ‘I would myself use the handbrake and keep it in gear on the flat or a hill‘ or just the ‘or a hill’ part’.

Comments

  • Try substituting a full stop for each comma. This gives you four sentences. The third sentence is still very long, but we can add a comma and a space:

    Yes Jody.
    I would myself use the handbrake and keep it in gear on the flat or a hill.
    You don’t have to keep it in gear if you don’t want to, but it’s just another safety precaution in case the handbrake fails.
    I will see you tomorrow at 9am in the car park.

  • So I am trying to read this rather than write it myself. From your understanding of the original quote each comma would be a separate sentence or phrase?

  • It's such strange writing that it's impossible to be 100% sure.

    But it seems to make sense if we read it as four sentences.

  • Yes I agree, thanks for your reply. So, if you were reading that with the poor grammar, you would assume that ‘You don’t have to keep it in gear’ is supposed to be a separate sentence or phrase and treated separately from the previous statement?

  • So, the suggestion seems to be to leave it in gear both on the flat and on a hill?

  • If I'm right, the suggestion is to leave it in gear — although it's not strictly necessary.
    It's a precaution, not a necessity.
    If somebody prefers to rely on the handbrake alone, the person responsible for the text don't object.

    I say 'the person responsible for the text' because it doesn't look like writing.
    It looks more like an attempt to represent casual speech.

  • Thanks for your help so suggestion from the author is handbrake and gear on both a hill and a flat? The statement after ‘You don’t have to....’ is meant for both the flat and on a hill? The punctuation is confusing and made me think the ‘You don’t have to...’ part it was just meant for a hill.

  • ‘You don’t have to....’ is meant for both the flat and on a hill?

    I think so, yes. If the speaker meant only one, he or she should have said

    you don’t have to keep it in gear on the flat if you don’t want to
    or
    you don’t have to keep it in gear on a hill if you don’t want to

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