Punctuating Because

Discussion in 'English Only' started by spearfish, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. spearfish Member

    When is it correct to use a comma before the word because?
  2. pops91710

    pops91710 Senior Member

    Give us an example. We need to be concise with any answers. The question as stated does not make sense.
  3. spearfish Member

    In Line by Line, Cook uses the example: "I also read the novel, because a friend had recommended it."

    She says the comma before because makes the reason for reading the book--the friend's recommendation--incidental. Without the comma, the sentence primarily concerns the reason for reading it.

    This information was new to me, and I hope I am presenting it in a clear manner. If someone is familiar with the rule for punctuating because, I would appreciate the help.
  4. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm not familiar with the book or its author, but her explanation of the comma's significance baffles me. I do agree that the meaning might differ if the comma were absent, but my interpretation would be different. Examples:

    A: "A friend of mine suggested that I read Name of Novel, so I did."
    B: "I also read the novel because a friend had recommended it." (I did the same as you, including the reason for reading the book; "also" covers both the reading and the reason.)

    A: "I recently read Name of Novel; I was moved to do so by the good reviews it received."
    B: "I also read the novel, because a friend had recommended it." (I read it, just as you did, but in my case, the reason is different; "also" applies only to the reading.)

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