Punctuation, Conjunction


In what conditions a comma should be used before a conjunction?


I read somewhere that in compound sentences, when a dependent and an independent clause are connected it would be proper to use a comma before a conjunction. Is it true?

Conjunction punctuation asked Apr 19 '12 at 14:32 Rahul Gupta Expert

Please read it so:
I read somewhere that in compound sentences, when two independent clause are connected with a conjunction, it would be proper to use a comma before a conjunction. Is it true?

I regret the inconvenience caused!

Rahul GuptaApr 21 '12 at 09:10

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3 answers




I think Lewis's answer may have confused everyone.  You asked about an independent clause attached to a dependent clause. That is not a compound sentence and no comma is required with the conjunction.


Lewis responded with examples of two independent clauses. As Lewis demonstrates, to join two independent clauses, a comma + conjunction is required.  


Sorry to jump in, but a casual reader may be confused by the "subject disagreement" between question and answer.

link answered Apr 19 '12 at 15:19 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

I'm sorry to confuse you.A dependent clause + An independent clause = Complex.I asked about compound = independent clause + independent clause

Rahul GuptaApr 19 '12 at 16:11

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Would this be correct:

The boy threw the ball: The dog chased after it.


(full colon, Capitalized first word of following independent clause)?


I think yes, but I defer to the experts.

link answered Apr 19 '12 at 15:48 Tony Proano Expert

No, colons are not used to link independent clauses. Colons are used before a list. Semicolons (;) may be used in place of a comma + conjunction.

Jeff PribylApr 19 '12 at 16:30

Glad I learned before I used it!

Tony ProanoApr 19 '12 at 16:53

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In fact, the comma is not always needed when two independent clauses are joined by "and" -- this only applies to "and," not to other conjuctions.


The reason a comma is required (you MUST use a comma) in this sentence is to prevent possible misreading. 


"The boy threw the ball and the dog" . . . huh! . . . oh, and the dog "chased after it."

link comment answered Sep 25 '12 at 21:12 Peter Guess Expert

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