comma before 'while' [short clauses; conjunction]: am strong, while

  • Kurt Jiang

    Senior Member
    china mandarin chinese
    No, a comma isn't necessary in this sentence:

    I am strong while my brother is weak.
    Thank you for your instant reply.

    But I always see this kind of senternce of this structure with a commo in it, how come?
    They are 2 individual sentences, right? If not so,when I should use the commo properly?
     

    Conchita57

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain/French - Switzerland
    Two clauses can be separated by a comma in a long sentence. In your example, however, there is no need for a pause as it is a short sentence.
     

    Kurt Jiang

    Senior Member
    china mandarin chinese
    Thank you for your instant reply.

    But I always see this kind of senternce of this structure with a commo in it, how come?
    They are 2 individual sentences, right? If not so,when I should use the commo properly?
     

    Conchita57

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain/French - Switzerland
    Always -- are you sure? I don't think so.

    On the other hand, they are not two individual sentences, but two clauses in one sentence.
     

    haywire

    Senior Member
    US - English
    I don't know the exact rule but since "while" is used as a conjunction then there's no use for a comma in this case. If "while" was left out then I'd put in a comma so it read: "I am strong, my brother is weak."

    As it sits, it's fine without one.
     

    JakubikF

    Senior Member
    English tends to "omit" commas in places where, I guess, most of the languages would require a pause. I always have problems with commas in English. If I don't know whether I should put a comma or not I prefer omitting it. It is safer way to be correct ;)
     

    haywire

    Senior Member
    US - English
    Thinking about it more...

    If you're writing this sentence, I'd leave out "while" totally and think about replacing it with "and", "whereas", or a comma.

    Generally in English we use "while" to denote time, which you're not doing in this case.
     
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