should I not put a comma in front of this "and"

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Not sure wether to put comma or not..

I thought because the first is a dependent... so is the second?

See example:

Unfortunately, the boys value strength and charisma above intelligence, and Piggy undergoes derision for any suggestions he offers.
asked Oct 04 '12 at 02:08 Amanda Shah New member

3 answers


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To expand on Tolley's answer. The comma is required because both clauses are independent clauses -- they both can stand alone as a sentence.

 

Every sentence requires at least one independent clause. A dependent clause cannot stand alone as a sentence, and two dependent clause do not make a complete sentence.

link comment answered Oct 04 '12 at 03:29 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow
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Good sentence and good advice. The comma between the two independent clauses is essential here to avoid the possibility of Piggy being given the same value as intelligence.

 

However, independent clauses joined by a conjunction do not always require a comma. For instance:

 

The clouds parted and the sun shone.

 

This sentence contains two independent clauses joined by a conjunction and does not require a comma; the sentence is very short, is easily understood, and contains no ambiguity. It would also be grammatically correct to insert a comma (after parted), of course.

link answered Oct 04 '12 at 07:50 Peter Guess Expert

Of course, you are correct. However, as Tolley -- the high school English teacher here -- pointed out to me when I joined the forum,immature writers (and ESL students ) need to understand and firmly embraced the basic rule before they are confronted with the exception. While I wish there was more discussion of mature writing issues here, I have come to realize most questions are very basic. I, therefore, tend to give only the basic rule and ignore the exceptions unless the question specifically addresses the exception. Years later, I now realize that my boyhood English teachers were following Tolley's advice. Miss Slater discouraged omitting the comma, even if the rules allowed it. Today, my professional editor also prefers that I err on the side of caution in my academic research manuscript.

Jeff PribylOct 04 '12 at 13:00

Yes, that's a good point about the editor – I am also in the position often where I have to follow editorial guidelines. When I'm dealing directly with the author, however, one of my cardinal rules is that I try to respect the style of the author, and if the author consistently omits this comma without introducing other problems, that's how it stays.

Personally, I use the comma habitually, and if there's inconsistency in a work I'm copy-editing, I always go the comma route. I did a medium length novel a couple of weeks ago that had a lot of short, sharp language, and I found myself rigorously inserting comma in such things as, "He stood, and they left."

Peter GuessOct 04 '12 at 16:20

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Hello,

 

I am new to Grammarly and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the questions and the answers.

The responses given to Amanda, in particular the last two, are great, and make, not only great learning, but wonderful reading sprinkled with a touch of humour. Thanks.

It's now time to turn off Mac (iMac) and switch out the light, so no corrections please. But, boy, am I glad you haven't read my short stories...and I admit to loving commas and adjectives. Just not sure how best to use them. That's one reason they no doubt gather dust.

 

 

 

   

link comment answered Oct 05 '12 at 12:10 Annette Chacos New member

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