COMMAS IN A COMPOUND SENTENCE. It's a
Use a comma between independent clauses separated by a conjunction (and,
or, for, but, etc.) in a compound sentence. Use your judgment when
the clauses are short or the subject is the same for both clauses.
Our group has spent
the past sixteen months studying the effect that solar storms have
on editing ability, and our manager will be delivering her report
next Friday. (A comma separates the two clauses because each clause
represents an independent thought.)
I hate the idea, and
Sassafras feels the same way. (A comma separates the two clauses
because each clause represents an independent thought.)
A closer look. If the two independent clauses in a
compound sentence are short and, in particular, if the subject is the
same in both, the comma becomes less critical. In general, though, it's
a good idea to follow the rule no matter what. This will prevent
you from writing sentences that read as follows:
CLAUSES AND PHRASES IN CONTRAST: Accentuating the negative
Guideline. Use a comma to give more emphasis to a
clause or phrase that contradicts or draws a contrast to an earlier
We introduced the
new double-seat air chair because we believed in it, not
because we simply wanted to add another model to our line.
(Note: If you wanted to give even more emphasis to the clause in
italics, you could have used a dash.)
INTERRUPTORS: Changing direction
Guideline. Use a comma to set off short words and
phrases that interrupt the flow of the sentence, especially when they
contradict, qualify, or amend what has come before.
We would love to
compete in your tournament. We have just learned, however,
that we must be in Sheboygan that weekend. (Commas are needed
because however interrupts the flow of the sentence.
The new course,
in contrast to the course laid out last summer, is in a
much smoother part of the lake. (Commas are needed here because the
phrase in contrast to the course laid out last summer
interrupts the flow of the sentence.
A closer look. If you want to deemphasize the pauses
that would normally occur as the result of a phrase that interrupts the
flow, you can omit the commas.
Source: Grammar for Smart
People, by Barry Tarshis.
Copyright 2005 by ProofreadNOW
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