Punctuation of a Compound Sentence

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I have a sentence that consists of two independent clauses joined by a comma + conjunction. I can't quite decide how the punctuation should occur immediately following the conjunction.

 

First, looking at the second independent clause as a standalone sentence: "When their sales did not meet expectations, he would foreclose." Here, we have an introductory adverbial clause separated from the main clause with a comma.

 

Now, let's add the first independent clause: "The Cattle King lent money to struggling ranchers for a share of their future profits, and <comma?> when their sales did not meet expectations, he would foreclose."

 

Perhaps I'm overthinking this. Part of me wants to consider the former introductory clause -- "when their ..." as a parenthetical phrase set off by commas at each end. But "comma and comma" doesn't seem right. The other part of me says the introductory adverbial clause remains just that, even if it is placed within the larger compound sentence.

 

Thoughts?

asked Apr 17 '12 at 16:31 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

1 answer


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Good question.  I had to break it down first:
He lent to them for profit, and [if] their sales did not x, he would foreclose.
 

That’s the punctuation structure, so now let’s add the rest:
The Cattle King lent money to struggling ranchers for a share of their profits, and if their sales did not meet expectations, he would foreclose.  

link comment answered Apr 17 '12 at 16:54 Todd McQuage Contributor

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