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Thread: But and commas

  1. #1
    durianman is offline Newbie
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    Default But and commas

    Shopping is difficult, but it is fun to do.
    Shopping is difficult, but fun to do.
    In the second sentence does a subject need to be written out? Isn't it implied (an ellipsis)? Without the subject in the second clause it still needs a comma, right?
    Yet with "and " as a coordinating conjuction this is not true.
    I should not use a comma in the second phrase unless there is a subject and that subject must be written not implied
    Last edited by durianman; 19-Sep-2006 at 11:50. Reason: info

  2. #2
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    Default Re: But and commas

    Quote Originally Posted by durianman View Post
    Shopping is difficult, but it is fun to do.
    Shopping is difficult, but fun to do.
    In the second sentence does a subject need to be written out? Isn't it implied (an ellipsis)? Without the subject in the second clause it still needs a comma, right?
    Yet with "and " as a coordinating conjuction this is not true.
    I should not use a comma in the second phrase unless there is a subject and that subject must be written not implied
    The subject does not need to be written out - it is implied, as you correctly say. It also needs a comma, because there is a pause before 'but'.

    A comma is a punctuation mark denoting a speech pause, and that is the only rule that applies - not whether you use a conjunction or not. For example:

    1) "Working for a living is hard and boring."
    2) "Working for a living is hard, and boring."

    Both sentences are correct. In the first one, the conjunction is used to make a compound adjective - 'hard and boring'. In the second, the conjunction is used to connect the two phrases - it is a contraction of: "Working for a living is hard, and (it is) boring." This difference is indicated in speech by a pause in 2), and that is why the comma is used.

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