Comma or Not a Comma, Which Is It?

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First, it was suggested that the comma before "because" is unnecessary. Now I seem to be told that it's necessary. Which is it? Do I need a comma after "help" instead?? Perhaps?? I don't know.

See example (Please ignore the ellipsis after "dad" because I just ommitted some personal info, which is appropriate for other places but not here):

If anyone needs mental help it's her right now because she always seemed to enjoy reminding me how "screwed up" I am because my dad...me. 
 
edited Jul 19 '13 at 14:57 Julie Anne New member

2 answers


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You need the comma after 'help'. It should be ' it's she', because 'she' is a predicate nominative. Since you have left some words out, this sentence must be very long, and two uses of 'because' makes it complicated. I would consider ending  this up after 'I am' and making the remainder a separate sentence. I wouldn't put the comma after because because the following clause gives the reason for the need. Others may say the comma should be there, however.

 

If anyone needs mental help, it's she right now because she always seemed to enjoy reminding me how "screwed up" I am.  My dad...me.

 

Another way to write this to remove the ambiguity is: (I would also leave out 'right now')

 

She needs mental help [right now] because she...

link answered Jul 19 '13 at 16:11 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thank you for taking the time to give me an example of what it should be, and you even helped me shorten the two sentences.

Julie AnneJul 25 '13 at 15:17

Thank you for taking the time to give me an example of what it should be, and you even helped me shorten the two sentences.

Julie AnneJul 25 '13 at 15:17

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You need a comma after HELP because IF is a subordinate clause marker (sometimes called adverb clause markers, too. ) When you use these words at the beginning of a sentence (when, while, because,before,after...) you need a comma at the end if the clause. If you see them in the middle if a sentence, you do not need to use the comma. This is why you need the comma after HELP but not before BECAUSE.

link comment answered Jul 20 '13 at 13:35 ElaineG New member

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