comma before conjunction

uktous

Senior Member
cantonese
Hi,

Question:
When a sentence is too long, can I break the sentence by writing a comma before a conjuntion?



Example of sentence:

Example1:
I am good at explaining ideas, so I explained those ideas to them
Example2:
When there is too much work, I will ask my friends to share them, or ask my boss to extend the deadline.
Example3:
They are not interested in music, because music is too hard.
Example4:
I live in Japan, and I am good at music.

My opinions:

I always write a comma before any conjunction. :(
However, when I google some conjunctions, I saw 99% of sentences don't have a comma like what I do in my examples above.

Thanks
 
  • You can and should use this punctuation. A comma followed by a conjunction is one of the most useful ways to join two or more ideas in a single sentence. Often you won't need a comma with the conjunction if it is merely combining words or phrases instead of joining clauses. Here are a few examples:

    I drank wine and read the book.
    I like baseball but not basketball.
    I'll eat fish or beef.

    I think this book is well-written, but I also think it's too long.
    I took a long walk today, and then I decided to take a nap.
    The painting could have been painted by Picasso, or it could also be a forgery.
     
    Last edited:
    I'm not sure and stand to be corrected, but I seem to remember that you don't use the comma before 'and'.
     
    You should say: They are not interested in music because it is too hard.
    I live in Japan and I am good at music.
    and is usually notseparated by a comma for example: owlman5, Uktous and I are writing in this thread. So here we can't write owlman5, Uktous, and I.
     
    Hi, uktous. The traditional recipe is:

    (1) with coordinating conjunctions (the FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, so, yet), a comma is always used, with a couple of special cases where it is not or may not be used

    (2) with subordinating conjunctions (adverbial connectors: if, while, although, because, as, since, after, before, provided that, unless, etc., etc.), if the subordinate clause begins a sentence preceding the main clause, a comma is used, but if it comes after the main clause, a comma is not needed

    Hope this helps.
     
    Hi, uktous. The traditional recipe is:

    (1) with coordinating conjunctions (the FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, so, yet), a comma is always used, with a couple of special cases where it is not or may not be used

    (2) with subordinating conjunctions (adverbial connectors: if, while, although, because, as, since, after, before, provided that, unless, etc., etc.), if the subordinate clause begins a sentence preceding the main clause, a comma is used, but if it comes after the main clause, a comma is not needed

    Hope this helps.

    "a comma is not needed"

    Hi,

    When I look at the dictionary, I find no example that a comma before subordinating conjunctions.

    I understand that a comma is not needed.

    If I wrote a comma before subordinating conjunctions, am I wrong?



    Thanks
     
    Here are a few examples of this, Uktous.

    Because he refused to serve us, we thought he was angry.
    We thought he was angry because he refused to serve us.

    When I drink too much wine, I get sleepy.
    I get sleepy when I drink too much wine.

    As you can see, in these examples I've used the comma when the subordinating conjunction begins the sentence. When that conjunction comes later, the comma isn't needed.
     
    Here are a few examples of this, Uktous.

    Because he refused to serve us, we thought he was angry.
    We thought he was angry because he refused to serve us.

    When I drink too much wine, I get sleepy.
    I get sleepy when I drink too much wine.

    As you can see, in these examples I've used the comma when the subordinating conjunction begins the sentence. When that conjunction comes later, the comma isn't needed.

    Thank you I understand this.

    However, sometimes, my sentences are too long so I want to break down it.

    I would like to make sure adding a comma is not wrong.


    "We thought he was angry, because he refused to serve us."
    According to your 1st reply, this sentence should be correct although the comma is not needed.



    Thanks
     
    Thank you I understand this.

    However, sometimes, my sentences are too long so I want to break down it.

    I would like to make sure adding a comma is not wrong.


    "We thought he was angry, because he refused to serve us."
    According to your 1st reply, this sentence should be correct although the comma is not needed.



    Thanks
    That's right, Uktous. I think the sentence is good and doesn't need a comma: "We thought he was angry because he refused to serve us."
     
    You use commas where they're needed, not where some rule tells you to. For example:
    • I don't need a comma here because the sentence is short.
    • But I do need commas to separate the various clauses in this sentence, because without them the whole sentence will be too complex for my reader to understand easily, and being polite to your reader is the essence of good style.
     
    You use commas where they're needed, not where some rule tells you to. For example:
    • I don't need a comma here because the sentence is short.
    • But I do need commas to separate the various clauses in this sentence, because without them the whole sentence will be too complex for my reader to understand easily, and being polite to your reader is the essence of good style.

    Hi, Keith.
    When should we use comma before conjunctions and when should we not? Please give a general guidance/rule with one or two examples.
    Thanks.
     
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