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    #1

    Question about FOR as a conj.

    --Mom, I want you to give me $20, for I'll take the train to the city this afternoon.--

    My question is do we have to put a COMMA before FOR ?

    I know we do not have to use a comma before BECAUSE as a conj., but how about FOR?

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: Question about FOR as a conj.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    --Mom, I want you to give me $20, for I'll take the train to the city this afternoon.--

    My question is do we have to put a COMMA before FOR ?

    I know we do not have to use a comma before BECAUSE as a conj., but how about FOR?

    Thank you.
    I believe the basic answer is pure rhetoric: "for" is so short that there's a natural pause before it.

    There is also a traditional grammatical distinction: "because" is considered a subordinating conjunction, and "for", a coordinating conjunction.

    The meaning of "for" and "because" is almost the same. Since "for" can be used in a simple sentence, it "must" be coordinating.

    I believe you because you never lie.
    I believe you, because you never lie.
    I believe you, for you never lie.
    I believe you. For you never lie.

    (Note: The purists object to "I believe you. Because you never lie." If they are right, "because" must be considered subordinating.)

    But the distinction doesn't really explain the necessity for a comma. Ultimately the comma and the period reflect pauses in speech.

    To be honest, only an extremely fastidious kid would say "for" in that sentence. Most would say 'cause. "For" is a wonderful word, but best saved for writing.

    One last thing: the idiom is to say "I'm taking the train to the city this afternoon". It's more immediate, therefore more vivid.
    Last edited by abaka; 18-Jan-2009 at 06:08.

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    #3

    Re: Question about FOR as a conj.

    I see. Thank you for your helpful explanation.

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