comma before 'or' [conjunction]: this one, or that one over there?

Akasaka

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi all,
Is the comma in the following sentence a must or can I omit it, or is it better without a comma?
Is the applepie Mom made this one, or that one over there?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Tabac

    Senior Member
    U. S. - English
    Hi all,
    Is the comma in the following sentence a must or can I omit it, or is it better without a comma?
    Is the applepie Mom made this one, or that one over there?

    Thanks in advance.
    No need for the comma. Just eat the apple pie (two words). A natural pause in speaking is not one of the general rules for the use of a comma.
     

    konungursvia

    Banned
    Canada (English)
    I beg to differ and like the comma where it is. Also, I consider a natural pause to be one of the most natural reasons to use a comma, and probably constitutes its original function.
     

    l3376876

    Banned
    Chinese, Taiwan
    I beg to differ and like the comma where it is. Also, I consider a natural pause to be one of the most natural reasons to use a comma, and probably constitutes its original function.

    Hi, Ko. I partly agree with you in that a natural pause is "one of the most natural reasons to use a comma"--well put.:thumbsup:

    Nevertheless, in this case, either (a comma or not) will do. I presume you're smart enough to save me the apparent reason in the light of your wise remark.
     

    l3376876

    Banned
    Chinese, Taiwan
    Please give me a source that states this so I won't make the mistake in the future.

    Hi, Tabac. I'd happy to hazard a guess at your request. As I'm not an expert at discovering a source, here is my rule of thumb:

    We can, either or not, put a comma in between a lengthy sentence, whenever a natural pause occurs at any place of the sentence in question, and we need to take a fast and shollow breath, so that we can go on reading it, without being out of breath.

    Well, this sentence doesn't make much sense, yet it indicates that some of the comas, which show a natural pause, are optional.

    Hopefully, this makes some sense to my friends.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think placing a comma in this sentence would be a useful way to faithfully record dialogue.
     
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