comma before and after 'and' [conjunction]: she.., and even though

ise

New Member
Danish
Hi everybody

I have a question about commas and subordinate clauses. I find it a bit hard to explain, but I hope you’ll understand what I’m getting at.
Now, I always use commas when a subordinate clause begins a sentence (example: ‘Even though she had no painting experience, she was admitted to the school’).

I also use commas between two co-ordinate clauses (‘She had no painting experience, and he had no idea what to do about it’).

However, I am in doubt of what to do in cases like this:

‘Three years later, she created a sensation with her huge canvases, and even though she had no painting experience, her colourful painting style quickly spread to other exhibitions.’

Do I place a comma before ‘and’ AND after the subordinate clause, or do I just place a single comma before 'and' (or before 'her')?
What is the general rule in cases with co-ordinate clauses with adverbial expressions/subordinate clauses in the middle?

Thank you in advance - oh, and happy New Year! :)
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If you want it all to be one sentence then the subordinate clause after the co-ordinating conjunction should be set off from the sentence by a pair of commas.

    Three years later, she created a sensation with her huge canvases, and, even though she had no painting experience, her colourful painting style quickly spread to other exhibitions.

    Here is the sentence without that subordinate clause.
    Three years later, she created a sensation with her huge canvases, and her colourful painting style quickly spread to other exhibitions
    .

    The general rule is that subordinate clauses like that should be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma at each end.
    See Bracketing Commas
     

    ise

    New Member
    Danish
    Thank you very much.

    What to do if the sentence is as follows:

    Three years later, she created a sensation with her huge canvases, and therefore her colourful painting style quickly spread to other exhibitions.

    Do I just place a comma before 'and' then? Or is a comma after 'therefore' required?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think we are into subjective areas now.
    In many cases, commas can be omitted.

    In this example I would not put a comma after later, even though introductory phrases are often separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.
    I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have commas around therefore. My uncertainty is because I wouldn't have therefore in the sentence so it's hard to imagine how I would punctuate it :)
     
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