Coordinating conjunctions and commas

Some grammar rules (and embarrassing mistakes!) transcend the uniqueness of different regions and style guides. This new International Grammar section by OnlineBookClub.org ultimately identifies those rules thus providing a simple, flexible rule-set, respecting the differences between regions and style guides. You can feel free to ask general questions about spelling and grammar. You can also provide example sentences for other members to proofread and inform you of any grammar mistakes.
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Bianka Walter
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Coordinating conjunctions and commas

Post by Bianka Walter » 24 Jun 2018, 04:12

Hello everyone!
I'm back for yet more comma questions :roll2:

Let's use the sentence:
I went for a walk in the park, and I brought my dog with me.

So, it's correct to say that because the two phrases
1 I went for a walk in the park
2 I brought my dog with me
can stand on their own as complete sentences (independent clauses) - the comma is needed before the and?

My ACTUAL question is this: What is the difference between an independent, and a dependent clause? If the sentence were to read, "I went for a walk in the park, but it was a bad idea because it looked like rain," (but now being the coordinating conjunction) would the second phrase be independent, or dependent? It needs the first phrase to make sense, but it can also stand on its own.

Is it sometimes maybe a bit subjective?

:arrow: Does it mean that it can stand COMPLETELY alone and make sense?
:arrow: Or does it mean it can stand alone in the context of the writing and make sense?

Editors have marked me down for both types, so now obviously I come seeking guidance.

Ok, I think that's all.

Commas are the end of my life.

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Post by CatInTheHat » 24 Jun 2018, 08:16

In both of your examples, I would use the comma as the part after the coordinating conjunction as they can both stand alone.
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Post by jgraney8 » 30 Jun 2018, 19:59

Bianka Walter wrote:
24 Jun 2018, 04:12
Hello everyone!
I'm back for yet more comma questions :roll2:


My ACTUAL question is this: What is the difference between an independent, and a dependent clause? If the sentence were to read, "I went for a walk in the park, but it was a bad idea because it looked like rain," (but now being the coordinating conjunction) would the second phrase be independent, or dependent? It needs the first phrase to make sense, but it can also stand on its own.

Is it sometimes maybe a bit subjective?
You have the correct idea that an independent clause can stand on its own, but a dependent clause needs to be joined to an independent clause.

Dependent clauses are clauses (they have a subject and a verb) that also have a subordinate conjunction like because, although, when, and if to name a few. In your example sentence, "I went for a walk in the park, but it was a bad idea because it looked like rain," because it looked like rain is a dependent clause.

The general comma rule for dependent clauses is to use a comma after a dependent clause as when it begins a sentence but do not use a comma before a dependent clause that ends a sentence as in your example.

A sentence with a dependent clause and an independent clause is called a complex sentence. I hope this helps.
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Bianka Walter
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Post by Bianka Walter » 01 Jul 2018, 02:12

jgraney8 wrote:
30 Jun 2018, 19:59
Bianka Walter wrote:
24 Jun 2018, 04:12
Hello everyone!
I'm back for yet more comma questions :roll2:


My ACTUAL question is this: What is the difference between an independent, and a dependent clause? If the sentence were to read, "I went for a walk in the park, but it was a bad idea because it looked like rain," (but now being the coordinating conjunction) would the second phrase be independent, or dependent? It needs the first phrase to make sense, but it can also stand on its own.

Is it sometimes maybe a bit subjective?
You have the correct idea that an independent clause can stand on its own, but a dependent clause needs to be joined to an independent clause.

Dependent clauses are clauses (they have a subject and a verb) that also have a subordinate conjunction like because, although, when, and if to name a few. In your example sentence, "I went for a walk in the park, but it was a bad idea because it looked like rain," because it looked like rain is a dependent clause.

The general comma rule for dependent clauses is to use a comma after a dependent clause as when it begins a sentence but do not use a comma before a dependent clause that ends a sentence as in your example.

A sentence with a dependent clause and an independent clause is called a complex sentence. I hope this helps.
This definitely helps! Thanks so much. I'm slowly getting there when it comes to my comma placement. I've also learnt that if I'm unsure, I should just scrap the sentence and try something else :lol:
It helps to know what I'm looking for, thanks!
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Post by FictionLover » 01 Jul 2018, 19:09

jgraney8 wrote:
30 Jun 2018, 19:59
Bianka Walter wrote:
24 Jun 2018, 04:12
Hello everyone!
I'm back for yet more comma questions :roll2:


My ACTUAL question is this: What is the difference between an independent, and a dependent clause? If the sentence were to read, "I went for a walk in the park, but it was a bad idea because it looked like rain," (but now being the coordinating conjunction) would the second phrase be independent, or dependent? It needs the first phrase to make sense, but it can also stand on its own.

Is it sometimes maybe a bit subjective?
You have the correct idea that an independent clause can stand on its own, but a dependent clause needs to be joined to an independent clause.

Dependent clauses are clauses (they have a subject and a verb) that also have a subordinate conjunction like because, although, when, and if to name a few. In your example sentence, "I went for a walk in the park, but it was a bad idea because it looked like rain," because it looked like rain is a dependent clause.

The general comma rule for dependent clauses is to use a comma after a dependent clause as when it begins a sentence but do not use a comma before a dependent clause that ends a sentence as in your example.

A sentence with a dependent clause and an independent clause is called a complex sentence. I hope this helps.
Hello,
Can I ask: What part of the sentence is "but it was a bad idea"

:techie-studyingbrown:
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Post by jgraney8 » 01 Jul 2018, 19:44

FictionLover wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 19:09

Hello,
Can I ask: What part of the sentence is "but it was a bad idea"

:techie-studyingbrown:
The clause,"but it was a bad idea," is an independent clause.

The sentence "I went for a walk in the park, but it was a bad idea because it looked like rain." is a compound-complex sentence consisting of two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction but and a dependent clause "because it looked like rain."
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Post by FictionLover » 01 Jul 2018, 19:50

Thanks, I don't know why this doesn't come easily to me.
"I love reading another reader’s list of favorites. Even when I find I do not share their tastes or predilections, I am provoked to compare, contrast, and contradict. It is a most healthy exercise, and one altogether fruitful." T.S. Eliot

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Post by Bianka Walter » 02 Jul 2018, 01:48

FictionLover wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 19:50
Thanks, I don't know why this doesn't come easily to me.
You're definitely not the only one!
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Post by FictionLover » 02 Jul 2018, 07:43

Bianka Walter wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 01:48
FictionLover wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 19:50
Thanks, I don't know why this doesn't come easily to me.
You're definitely not the only one!
I did an online course a few months ago to improve my grammar, and I focused on commas. But I still make mistakes.
They are buggers!! :gaah:
"I love reading another reader’s list of favorites. Even when I find I do not share their tastes or predilections, I am provoked to compare, contrast, and contradict. It is a most healthy exercise, and one altogether fruitful." T.S. Eliot

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Post by jgraney8 » 04 Jul 2018, 13:36

FictionLover wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 07:43
Bianka Walter wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 01:48
FictionLover wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 19:50
Thanks, I don't know why this doesn't come easily to me.
You're definitely not the only one!
I did an online course a few months ago to improve my grammar, and I focused on commas. But I still make mistakes.
They are buggers!! :gaah:
For me, when I use a coordinating conjunction and continue writing, I sometimes forget to return to put the comma in.
“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
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Post by kfwilson6 » 06 Jul 2018, 08:31

Bianka Walter wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 01:48
FictionLover wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 19:50
Thanks, I don't know why this doesn't come easily to me.
You're definitely not the only one!
The majority of the time I spend revising my reviews is spent on checking commas. I start to question myself. On the current book I am reviewing there have been quite a few sentences where I thought a comma was missing between two independent clauses. When I see that many I start to wonder if I am missing an exception or are they from another country? The BOTD a couple of days ago was written by a guy in Britain I think, and they do single and double quotes opposite the US.

I try to split my sentence up into two sentences to help me. Can you say:
I went for a walk in the park.
It was a bad idea because it looked like rain.

Both sentences make sense on their own regardless of context. You don't know what "it" is without context, but if you replace it with whatever it references, the sentences make sense. Going for a walk in the park was a bad idea because it looked like rain.

I don't know if that helps. Because then you could do the same with "It was a bad idea because it looked like rain." "It was a bad idea" and "It looked like rain" also make sense on their own but because statements are not part of the "separate two independent clauses with a comma" rule.

AHHHH, I think I just drove myself nuts trying to help. So many rules!

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Post by Bianka Walter » 06 Jul 2018, 08:38

kfwilson6 wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 08:31
Bianka Walter wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 01:48
FictionLover wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 19:50
Thanks, I don't know why this doesn't come easily to me.
You're definitely not the only one!
AHHHH, I think I just drove myself nuts trying to help. So many rules!
I've just bought myself a book on grammar.
I'm not even kidding.
:lol2:
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Post by FictionLover » 06 Jul 2018, 09:06

kfwilson6 wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 08:31
Bianka Walter wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 01:48
FictionLover wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 19:50
Thanks, I don't know why this doesn't come easily to me.
You're definitely not the only one!
The majority of the time I spend revising my reviews is spent on checking commas. I start to question myself. On the current book I am reviewing there have been quite a few sentences where I thought a comma was missing between two independent clauses. When I see that many I start to wonder if I am missing an exception or are they from another country? The BOTD a couple of days ago was written by a guy in Britain I think, and they do single and double quotes opposite the US.

I try to split my sentence up into two sentences to help me. Can you say:
I went for a walk in the park.
It was a bad idea because it looked like rain.

Both sentences make sense on their own regardless of context. You don't know what "it" is without context, but if you replace it with whatever it references, the sentences make sense. Going for a walk in the park was a bad idea because it looked like rain.

I don't know if that helps. Because then you could do the same with "It was a bad idea because it looked like rain." "It was a bad idea" and "It looked like rain" also make sense on their own but because statements are not part of the "separate two independent clauses with a comma" rule.

AHHHH, I think I just drove myself nuts trying to help. So many rules!
Yes, when in doubt, simplify!

What has been make me crazy lately, is (what I consider) the misuse of ellipses. OMG, why is it that in e-books, they are used so much? They are supposed to be for missing words, or to represent a trailing off in conversation. Like, "I'm not sure, let me think. . .oh, well." Or some other phrase where there really is a reason why someone would stop talking for a few seconds.

I see them over and over again, where it looks like a comma would do just find. Commas mean a pause. Why are there all these extra pauses in the dialog?

I've had someone say to me,"People, talk like that." "No. No, they don't." We have enough punctuation to adequately represent how people speak. I'd rather see the "You. Don't. Say." kind of thing. At least that is what the person is doing with their speech.
Rant over. :angry-soapbox:
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Post by Artifacs » 16 Jul 2018, 14:03

English is not my mother language, therefore, when I write in English, I place the commas in the Spanish way. Which it seems to be the English wrong way. When I'm reading english, I notice there's a big difference for I cannot track why the writer placed a comma before that conjunction. For instance, I'd never place a comma before "and" in the following sentence:

I went to the park, and it was a rainy day.

Is there any english grammar site or excerpt text that lectures where tok place commas properly?

Thank you in advance.

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Post by jgraney8 » 16 Sep 2018, 12:47

Artifacs wrote:
16 Jul 2018, 14:03


Is there any english grammar site or excerpt text that lectures where tok place commas properly?

Thank you in advance.
Here is a pretty good one that I used to recommend for my students. http://www.chompchomp.com/menu.htm
“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

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