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How to Use a Comma in a Compound Sentence

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Since the dawn of time, people have been creating new ways to communicate easier and more efficiently. So when the word of mouth began to be used as symbols on materials, one would question where a pause was to be taken in a sentence. In the Christian Church, St. Augustine influenced many to use punctuation so the texts of God would not be misread. Thus, the spawning of the comma was started and the blue faces of readers were relieved without misreading the sentence in its context.

Know what the comma is used for. A comma is used to connect two independent clauses by using a coordinating conjunction. (Independent Clause, (coordinating conjunction) Independent Clause)

  • Ex.- I went to California. + I want to go to Florida.=
  •  I went to California, BUT I want to go to Florida

Learn when to use them. In a compound sentence, the coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) link sentences that might otherwise stand alone together. Ex.- John went to the mall. + Mary followed him to see what he was up to. = John went to the mall, SO Mary followed him to see what he was up to.

However, when there is no subject in the second part of the sentence a comma should not be used. E.g., We went shopping but could not find what we were after.

Tips

  • A helpful way to remember the coordinating conjunctions is by using the word FANBOYS, which is an mnemonic device put together from the first letter of each of the conjunctions.
  • Remember the comma goes before the coordinating conjunction, NOT after.

    Ex.-We went to Maine for the summer, for my parents wanted to visit our relatives there.
  • NOT:
  • We went to Maine for the summer for, my parents wanted to visit our relatives there.
  • or
  • We went to Maine for the summer for my parents, wanted to visit our relatives there.
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