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    #1

    Commas before and, although, and but

    Hello everyone,
    Could you please help me with this confusion of mine?
    I've read that the rule for all conjunctions is: if the conjunction precedes a main clause we use commas.
    But it looks like these examples don't fallow that rule:
    It was late but she couldn't sleep. - no comma there. Why is that?

    She tried to stop but she hit the man.
    Although she tried to stop, she hit the man.

    Or I've made a mistake and confused the main clauses with subordinate clauses in these sentences?

    Thank you in advance

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    #2

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    Commas are possible in your examples. We usually omit them from short sentences like those.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    Quote Originally Posted by elenah View Post
    I've read that the rule for all conjunctions is: if the conjunction precedes a main clause we use commas.
    That's not right. What's the source? Do you know the differences between coordinating and subordinating conjunctions?

    She tried to stop but she hit the man.
    Although she tried to stop, she hit the man.

    Which words do you think are the conjunctions? Which clauses do you consider to be main clauses?

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    #4

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    One of the sources that said that ''We usually put commas before SO, ALTHOUGH, and but' was New English File. But in the examples that were giving some sentences didn't have commas. I've written them below.
    She tried to stop but she hit the man.
    Although she tried to stop, she hit the man. - She hit the man is the main clause?
    It was late but she couldn't sleep. - She couldn't sleep is the main clause?
    She couldn't sleep although it was late.

    Another source - some website on the internet said: ' If the conjunction precedes a main clause we use commas.'
    Can't remember which.

    I'm looking at the rules for coordinating and subordinating conjunctions at the moment, thank you for the tip.


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    #5

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    Hi Jutfrank,
    I found this information about subordinating conjunctions:
    ' If you are using the dependent clause at the beginning of the sentence, then you have to use a comma at the end of the dependent clause. If you are using the dependent clause after the independent clause, a comma is not used.'
    Is this correct?
    And is this correct; '
    There are only seven coordinating conjunctions in the English Language. They are For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet and So. ' ?
    The site I found it at
    http://pediaa.com/difference-between-coordinating-and-subordinating-conjunctions/
    Can I trust it?


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    #6

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    Quote Originally Posted by elenah View Post
    One of the sources that said that ''We usually put commas before SO, ALTHOUGH, and but' was New English File.
    I doubt this. Are you sure? I use NEF regularly and have never noticed this. Could you please tell me which edition, which level and which page?

    She tried to stop but she hit the man.
    No comma is necessary here. These are two coordinate clauses. You could use a comma if you want, but it is not necessary to do so.

    It was late but she couldn't sleep. - She couldn't sleep is the main clause?
    No. These are two coordinate clauses. No comma is necessary.

    Although she tried to stop, she hit the man. - She hit the man is the main clause?

    Yes. The comma is necessary after a subordinate clause. You can see that the subordinate clause appears before the main clause.

    She couldn't sleep although it was late.
    You can see that the subordinate clause appears after the main clause and at the end of a sentence. In this case, we need to put a full stop instead of a comma.

    Another source - some website on the internet said: ' If the conjunction precedes a main clause we use commas.'
    This is misleading. A better rule to remember is this: "use a comma at the end of a subordinate clause when it precedes a main clause".

    I'm looking at the rules for coordinating and subordinating conjunctions at the moment, thank you for the tip.

    Good.



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    #7

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    Quote Originally Posted by elenah View Post
    I found this information about subordinating conjunctions:
    ' If you are using the dependent clause at the beginning of the sentence, then you have to use a comma at the end of the dependent clause. If you are using the dependent clause after the independent clause, a comma is not used.'
    Is this correct?
    Yes. (See my post #8, which I wrote before I saw your post #7)

    And is this correct; 'There are only seven coordinating conjunctions in the English Language. They are For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet and So. ' ?
    Yes. There's a mnemonic to help you remember these seven conjunctions: FANBOYS

    The site I found it at http://pediaa.com/difference-between-coordinating-and-subordinating-conjunctions/
    Can I trust it?

    Yes, it seems you can.

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    #8

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    Hi Jutfrank,
    Thank you for your help.
    Forgive my stupidity please but similar sentence in the book has got comma. Could you tell me why please?
    Although she tried to stop, she hit the man.
    But in this sentence even though the structure is similar it does.
    She tried to stop but she hit the man.


    No comma is necessary here. These are two coordinate clauses. You could use a comma if you want, but it is not necessary to do so.

    Could you tell me why please?

    It is from A New English File, Pre-Intermidiate level, PAGE 128, LESSON 2d, Student's book by Clive Oxendren, Christina Latham-Koenig and Paul Seligson ISBN 978 -0- 19 - 438433-9
    The source of:
    'We usually put commas before so, although and but' - p 37, grammar notes, 2D, teacher's book New English File, Pre-intermidiate by
    Clive Oxendren, Christina Latham-Koenig , Paul Seligson with Lindsay Clandfield ISBN 9-780-194-518888

    Can't find the year the books were published

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    #9

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    She tried to stop but she hit the man.
    She tried to stop, but she hit the man.


    Both are fine. The comma in the second is not grammatically necessary, it's optional. It suggests to the reader a little pause.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 19-Mar-2017 at 13:31. Reason: Fixing typo.

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    #10

    Re: Commas before and, although, and but

    Quote Originally Posted by elenah View Post
    Although she tried to stop, she hit the man.

    She tried to stop but she hit the man.
    There's a significant difference between the two sentences. Can you see what it is?
    I am not a teacher.

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