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Thread: Comma Use

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Comma Use

    Do I have to put a comma before the words as, although, or, while, but, and?

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Comma Use

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Do I have to put a comma before the words as, although, or, while, but, and?
    It will depend on the entire sentence.

    Why don't you write a few examples of what you mean?

    Two notes:
    1) Style has said that you do put a comma before the coordinating conjuntions when they join two independent clauses. (Mary did the dishes, and Susan did the laundry. Do you want to go out to eat, or do you want to eat in tonight?) This seems to be no longer strictly followed when the clauses are brief.

    2) Including the comma before the "and" or "or" in a list is optional, but should be consistent. Don't say "The colors of the French flag are blue, red, and white. The colors of the American flag are also red, white and blue," so that one has the comma and one does not.

    {not a teacher}

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Comma Use

    However, some schools of thought consider a comma, as a punctuation mark, to be outside the main content of language, and to be a little freer in terms of authorial choice. Hemingway, one of our best writers, used none where we would have used one generally.

    I think the best advice to give you is this: if, in reading your sentence out loud, you hear yourself pause, or you hear a rise in your voice that gives the impression of a pause, put a comma. Otherwise, don't.

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