comma before and after 'and' [conjunction]: was in vain and as I

huskydog

Senior Member
English - Great Britain
Could somebody please tell me if the following sentence requires a comma?

My attempt was patently in vain and as I trudged away inconsolably from Southsea Common I knew that all hope was dashed.

Thanks
 
  • Saratoga

    Senior Member
    usa english
    I think Boozer meant to put the first optional comma before the "and". So rather than

    My attempt was patently in vain and, as I trudged away inconsolably from Southsea Common, I knew that all hope was dashed.

    it would be

    My attempt was patently in vain, and as I trudged away inconsolably from Southsea Common, I knew that all hope was dashed.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Ermmmm, no :) I meant it right where I did put it. The "and" is needed outside the comma-restricted sentence to link the other two clauses
     

    MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    I disagree with boozer.
    Saratoga's version agrees with mine:
    "My attempt was patently in vain, and as I trudged away inconsolably from Southsea Common, I knew that all hope was dashed."

    Remember, a comma indicates a pause in speech. When we would we say:

    My attempt was patently in vain and...

    ...as I trudged away inconsolably from Southsea Common, I knew that all hope was dashed.


    The pause comes naturally after the END of the first statement.

    A pause after 'and' would indicate to the reader that the speaker/writer was unsure of what he was going to say next. There is no other indication that this is intended in the sentence by the writer e.g.
    "My attempt was patently in vain and ...er...as I trudged away inconsolably from Southsea Common, I knew that all hope was dashed."
    or (Amer.E.)
    My attempt was patently in vain and, like, as I trudged away inconsolably from Southsea Common, I knew, like, that all hope was dashed.
     
    Last edited:

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It depends where you put your pause, MBK. I'd put mine in the same place as Boozer's. (Though I don't think it actually needs one.)
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    The position and even presence of commas in English, is not strictly controlled as in German for example, (if your English sentence starts to look like an outbreak of measles, you leave some out whatever you think the rules are), and they often occur where there is a pause or where the speaker would take a breath. There are such natural pauses here before and and after Common.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The purpose of punctuation is to add clarity to the sentence, or to remove confusion.
    It is not there to indicate breathing.
    The fact that it often coincides with a breath or pause is because we pause in speech t add clarity or remove confusion.

    There are fairly clear rules for where commas may be put, to be modified by the generosity of the rule that says something like "if it isn't needed, don't use it" - another expression of Arrius's measles principle.

    Looking at the guidance on commas in THIS LINK (from the list at the top of this forum), I could punctuate the sentence like this:

    My attempt was patently in vain, and, as I trudged away inconsolably from Southsea Common, I knew that all hope was dashed.
    The first comma is a joining comma, preceding the joining word "and" and joining the red sentence with the blue sentence.
    The second and third commas are bracketing commas, marking off the non-essential clause.

    I think the bracketing commas make the sentence a bit "comma-heavy" so I would leave them out.
    I'd keep the joining comma.
     
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