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    #1

    Comma before coordinating conjunctions joining two predicates

    Hello teachers,

    I have a question regarding the use of commas before coordinating conjunctions joining two predicates.

    Here are some sentences:

    1. The candidate up to this point has provided only minimal backchannels, and has not indicated at this point in the task-framing process that she is confused about what the task is going to be. (retain the comma because one predicate is positive and the other is negative?)

    2. The correlation between fully framed tasks and inter-rater reliability has to date never been fully examined, and indeed would be a worthy object of the kind of research on interview discourse called for by Chauloub-Deville and Fulcher. (retain the comma because the tenses are different in both the predicates)

    3. This is done when the interviewer does not immediately start the task, but rather uses a few pre-sequences to draw the candidate’s attention and focus to the upcoming topic. (retain the comma because the second predicate is a contrast?)

    4. Such analyses are essentially interpretive, and may well be subject to selection bias unless the excerpts of different tasks framed by different interviewers are randomly sampled. (retain the comma because the tenses are different in both the predicates?)

    5. In contrast to the fourth interviewer, the fifth interviewer is far less inclined to accommodate proactively, and thus does much less to co-construct the interaction with the candidate. (retain the comma because the action in the second predicate is the result of the action in the first one?)

    6. In such circumstances, indirect and semi-indirect testing methods have been deployed, and have been the primary alternative to interviews for a limited number of languages. (I have no idea either way!)

    7. The sixth and seventh interviews in the series also resulted in 1+ ratings, and suggest that even though there was considerable variation in the real-time diagnosis of the candidate’s base level of proficiency, as well as variation in the degree of the interviewers’ co-constructive interactivity with the candidate, the majority of the second ratings consistently arrived at the same conclusion—that the candidate was, even with seven opportunities to learn from experience, consistently speaking at the ILR 1+—the threshold of limited working proficiency. (retain the comma because the tenses are different and the second predicate is complex?)

    Source: Interviewing for Language Proficiency, by Steven J. Ross

    Here is another one from a different book:

    8. Put simply, Jefferson indeed acted in direct violation of his philosophy of government, and was attacked for that violation. (retain the comma because the voices in the predicates are different?)

    The author had used commas in all the above sentences. Could you please tell me whether the use is right or wrong in each sentence? I would really appreciate it if you could give me the reasons for your answers.

    Thank you very much for your patience and help!
    Last edited by LaMelange; 04-Jun-2017 at 19:45. Reason: font change for commas in question

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Comma before coordinating conjunctions joining two predicates

    In 4. I would delete the comma after 'interpretive' and put one after 'bias'.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: Comma before coordinating conjunctions joining two predicates

    I'd retain the first and add the second. Whatever certain style guides may say, I use a comma before a coordinating conjunction joining two independent clauses when I think it helps mark the clause division.

    Fortunately, we tend not to be too prescriptive about this in BrE, though major publishers enforce their own rules.
    Last edited by teechar; 05-Jun-2017 at 12:04.

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    #4

    Re: Comma before coordinating conjunctions joining two predicates

    bhaisahab and Piscean, thank you both for looking into my sentences.

    From both your answers, do I take it that the use of comma in all the other sentences is OK?

    Supposing the author had not used those commas, should one be inserted, or is the use of such commas more subjective?

    Also, was I wrong to use the word "predicate" instead of "clause"?

    It would be of great help if someone could comment on the use of comma (whether or not it is required) in all my sentences, individually, with reason.

    Thanks a million!

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    #5

    Re: Comma before coordinating conjunctions joining two predicates

    I believe that the punctuation gurus would say that the comma is not required before the conjunction in any of your sentences, as they contain a double predicate. If there were an explicit subject in the second clause, a comma would be required. Here's an example:

    Mary left the room and closed the door behind her.
    Mary left the room, and she closed the door behind her
    .



    Not a punctuation guru.
    Last edited by Piscean; 04-Jun-2017 at 21:36. Reason: Fixed typo

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    #6

    Re: Comma before coordinating conjunctions joining two predicates

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    If there were an explicit subject in the second clause, a comma would be required.

    Yes, I do know this punctuation rule, but sometimes even knowing the rule does not seem to help!

    But your reply has helped me clear some of my doubts. I shall come back to this whenever I come across this problem. Thank you very much!

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    #7

    Re: Comma before coordinating conjunctions joining two predicates

    Any punctuation gurus out there who would like to go through the sentences and share your comments? They would be much appreciated.

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