Comma Before Or


Can you ever have a comma before or? 


Bobby is in a difficult situation: to lie about stealing, or to live in guilt.


Would it be ok for a comma to be before or?

asked Nov 25 '13 at 23:20 Nicole New member

2 answers


A comma is always used before a conjunction (such as or) when it is joining two independent clauses.  Otherwise, there is no comma. Your example does not have two independent clauses, so the comma should be deleted. 


The sentence is somewhat confusing.  I don't know what sort of situation Bobby is in.  But if he lies about stealing, that usually means he gets away with committing a crime.  That choice also means that he would have to live with guilt.  In other words, both of the choices are the same.  Do you mean tell the truth about stealing or live with guilt?

link comment answered Nov 25 '13 at 23:57 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Agree. Comma has to come out and sentence needs reworking for clarity.

link comment answered Nov 26 '13 at 01:57 Susan Smith New member

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