# Thread: Comma with Dependent Clauses

1. ## Comma with Dependent Clauses

Sometimes I have an independent clause with a dependent clause inside of it. I'm wondering if I need a comma in between them.

Two examples:

1.

a) Because I won first and my wife won second, the crowd thought we cheated.

or

b) Because I won first, and my wife won second, the crowd thought we cheated.

2.

a) The box is black because I had this paint and Bobby liked it.

or

b) The box is black because I had this point, and Bobby like it.

Putting the comma seems to break up the single thoughts, but I thought perhaps I need it because it is a dependent clause.

Thanks for any help.

2. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

Originally Posted by QTip
Sometimes I have an independent clause with a dependent clause inside of it. I'm wondering if I need a comma in between them.

Two examples:

1.

a) Because I won first and my wife won second, the crowd thought we cheated.

or

b) Because I won first, and my wife won second, the crowd thought we cheated.

2.

a) The box is black because I had this paint and Bobby liked it.

or

b) The box is black because I had this point, and Bobby like it.

Putting the comma seems to break up the single thoughts, but I thought perhaps I need it because it is a dependent clause.

Thanks for any help.
As a rule, we insert a comma after a clause beginning with "because" when it begins a sentence. We mostly don't use a comma before "because" if the clause ends a sentence. The exception is when the opening clause is a negative.

See more here: 5 Calls for a Comma Before ?Because?

3. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

Because I won first and my wife won second, the crowd thought we cheated.

The box is black because I had this painted and Bobby liked it.
When two clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction, and, you don't use a comma between them.

4. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

Originally Posted by driftwood
When two clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction, and, you don't use a comma between them.
That's simply not true.
A great many traditional grammar books and many style guides say that two independent clauses linked with an "and" require a comma. This is ignored by many when the clauses are short.

5. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

Originally Posted by driftwood
When two clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction, and, you don't use a comma between them.
I agree with Barb. That is not true at all.

6. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

Thanks for the discussion so far, but I'm still unsure what is correct. I wish I didn't use "because" in both my examples since I know that's a tricky one. The sentence I'm working on right now is the following:

If no one has bet and the action is on you, the dealer will often encourage you to act by asking the question, "Check or bet?"

My dependent clause actually contains an independent clause. So, I'm wondering if a comma should be inserted. "If no one has bet, and the action is on you, the dealer..."

I have other sentences where the dependent clause contains an independent clause and it's at the end of the sentence.

"The decisions are less complicated as semi-bluffing is not a factor and we can't give away equity to worse hands."

I'm wondering if a comma should be placed here "...not a fact, and we..."

7. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

Originally Posted by QTip
Thanks for the discussion so far, but I'm still unsure what is correct. I wish I didn't use "because" in both my examples since I know that's a tricky one. The sentence I'm working on right now is the following:

If no one has bet and the action is on you, the dealer will often encourage you to act by asking the question, "Check or bet?"

My dependent clause actually contains an independent clause. So, I'm wondering if a comma should be inserted. "If no one has bet, and the action is on you, the dealer..."

I have other sentences where the dependent clause contains an independent clause and it's at the end of the sentence.

"The decisions are less complicated as semi-bluffing is not a factor and we can't give away equity to worse hands."

I'm wondering if a comma should be placed here "...not a fact, and we..."
I could use something simpler like:

If Bob is in the red car and Mary is in the green car, send Steve home.

or

If Bob is in the red car, and Mary is in the green car, send Steve home.

Seems I have a compound-complex sentence, but my hangup is the two dependent clauses are not joined by a conjunction.

8. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

Found a similar example on a couple sites.

"Be who you are and say who you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Noticed there's not a comma before "...and those who matter don't mind" even though that's a dependent clause.

9. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

You don't need a comma in any of those recent examples you given.
You could choose to use one with: "The decisions are less complicated as semi-bluffing is not a factor, and we can't give away equity to worse hands." This is a longer sentence and the comma makes it easier for some to read the sentence.
"Mary went south and I went north" doesn't need a comma. You can use one if you like.
If you had "Mary went with Peter and John and I went alone", you'd need a comma before either the first or second 'and' to disambiguate it.

10. ## Re: Comma with Dependent Clauses

Originally Posted by driftwood
When two clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction "and", you don't use a comma between them.
driftwood, please read this extract from the forum's Posting Guidelines:

You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly at the top of your post.

Thank you,

Rover

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