comma with 'and'. Is an imperative clause independent? [conjunction]

Tremt

Member
Portuguese
Hi,

I have a problem identifying independent clauses when the pronoun/subject is not there (but it is implicit). For example:

- Do not delay it and think for the future.

If I were to put them as two separate sentences with a full stop in between, they'd be able to stand alone (I've read this is a cue to identify independent clauses):

- Do not delay it. Think for the future.

Also, if I insert the pronoun/subject, it reads the same:

- You do not delay it and you think for the future.
- You do not delay it. You think for the future

My questions:

1) Am I right in guessing that both are independent clauses despite not having a pronoun/subject written? I believe it is, but I am not sure.

2) Would a comma or semi-colon be appropriate there before "and"? I believe it would require so, this is how I believe it should be properly structured with the punctuation signs:

- Do not delay it, and think for the future.
- Do not delay it; think for the future.

Can you help please?

Thanks! :)
 
  • Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    It would help if you stated exactly what you mean. Do you mean don't put off thinking about the future?

    If something is deeply related it makes no sense to use the and at all. Imagine I want you to buy something immediately. Here are my suggestions in order of preference:

    Don't wait. Buy it now!
    Don't wait: Buy it now.
    Don't wait; buy it now.
    Don't wait...buy it now!

    On the other hand if you are saying two separate things, you can use the word "and" to link them. In that case, you have various punctuation options, such as:

    Buy it as soon as possible, and make sure you get the best price!
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    - Do not delay it and think for the future.


    It is ambiguous. It could mean "
    Do not delay it and do not think for the future." It could also mean "Do not delay it and do think for the future."

    Please explain further.
     

    frenchifried

    Senior Member
    English - UK/US
    If you want to connect two separate clauses with 'and' or 'but', you nearly always need a comma; just occasionally, a semi-colon can be used. If you do not use a conjunction, then you need a full stop(BE) or period (AE), or a semi-colon, or more rarely, a colon, an elipsis, or an em dash depending on the structure of your sentence or paragraph.

    I am going to school. Mary is going to school too.
    I am going to school; Mary is going with me.
    I am going to school, and Mary is going to school too.
    I am going to school. Mary is staying at home.
    I am going to school, but Mary is staying at home
     

    Tremt

    Member
    Portuguese
    Thank you guys!

    For what is worth, I'm writing content where I'm referring directly to the reader (i.e. I'm writing for the reader). Here is the context of the sentences:

    It is imperative that you stay positive when you are working hard towards your goal. This is something that will have many barriers to jump, and you will have to stay put throughout the time that it takes you to achieve this goal. However, when you achieve it, you will be able to reap the benefits of accomplishing that which you promised yourself to do. Do not delay it and think for the future.

    As you can read, I'm writing to the reader, hence why I am skipping the pronouns/subject in the underlined sentence.

    From what I can read from your answers, it should indeed be as I originally thought?

    - Do not delay it, and think for the future.
    - Do not delay it; think for the future.

    Thanks you in advanced for more replies! :)
     

    frenchifried

    Senior Member
    English - UK/US
    In that case Tremt, I would follow the structure Embonpoint suggests with the ellipsis; you could also use an em or even an en dash. However, you should modify the whole phrase, which is incorrect.
    Do not delay . . . think ahead/think of the future
    Do not delay---think ahead/think of the future
    Stop procrastinating---think of the future

    These are only suggestions.
     

    Tremt

    Member
    Portuguese
    Thanks all again.

    What is the it in do not delay it?
    It's impossible to suggest punctuation if we don't know what you mean.

    "It" would be the goal, in the case of the paragraph that i quoted in my previous reply.

    In that case Tremt, I would follow the structure Embonpoint suggests with the ellipsis; you could also use an em or even an en dash. However, you should modify the whole phrase, which is incorrect.
    Do not delay . . . think ahead/think of the future
    Do not delay---think ahead/think of the future
    Stop procrastinating---think of the future

    These are only suggestions.

    I understand. I have come across phrases like the one in my original reply in the past, and I never know when to insert a comma. For example:

    - You have to go to school today and don't forget to take your lunch box.
    - Take the next turn to the left and step on the accelerator.

    Would there be a comma before "and" in each example above? I believe that a comma should go in each example as the writing style in both examples has the pronoun/subject "you" implicit after "and", thus making an independent clause after "and" in each of the examples.

    Anyone?

    Thanks!
     

    custner

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Hi

    Should there be a comma in this sentence before the word and

    I am always looking forward to making new friends, and to be able to continue with this at the Mountainwood camp would be a dream come true

    Thanks
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I think so. Commas are generally used before a conjunction when the conjunction precedes an independent clause. It's not absolutely mandatory, and there are times when they can be left off, but I think having one here is a good idea. Do you disagree?

    I have merged your thread, custner, with another thread on the topic of when to use commas before and. I hope you find some of the earlier discussion useful.

    JustKate
    English Only moderator
     
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