Commas Before So – When to Use Them

If you’re writing a sentence, commas before so are required. But, if you’re writing: “He was tall so he could reach it,” there’s no need for a comma. “He was tall so he could reach it,” would be a better example. The same rule applies to dependent clauses and run-on sentences. If you’re unsure, read on.

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Subordinating conjunctions

You’ve probably noticed that a comma should come after “so.” But does that really make a difference? The answer lies in the function of the word. A coordinating conjunction must be preceded by a comma, whereas a subordinating conjunction doesn’t. Let’s look at some examples. In a sentence where the word “so” appears before an action, the comma must be placed before the word.

When subordinating conjunctions are used in sentences, the subordinating clause follows it, linking the words or phrases together. This makes the dependent clause subordinate to the independent clause. Common subordinating conjunctions include before, after, and as. However, some sentences may not benefit from these subordinate conjunctions. You can use them to introduce a subject or a verb but not a complete sentence.

If a sentence contains two independent clauses, a coordinating conjunction should come after the first one. For example, Jane is making dinner while Josie is bringing dessert. If a sentence contains two independent clauses, a coordinating conjunction will link them. To avoid ambiguity, the first independent clause comes before the coordinating conjunction. The second independent clause should come after the comma.

Correlative conjunctions are difficult to understand and punctuate, and you might find them confusing. Correlative conjunctions join two grammatically equal words or clauses. They depend on each other for the full meaning of the sentence. Sometimes they require a comma to join them, but sometimes they don’t. If you’re unsure, you can use them without a comma.

You can use commas before and after coordinating conjunctions. In addition to separating these two independent clauses, you can also use the Oxford comma. However, some style guides state that the Oxford comma is optional. If you’re using the coordinating conjunction or and, you should use the comma before it. The Oxford comma is not necessary, but it is a better way to separate them.

“While” is another subordinating conjunction. It has a broader definition as an adverb of concession. So, in the case of “while,” it would be a comma before the independent clause. The delivery man waited outside the rainy window while the little boy counted pennies. The supervisor waited inside a dry car while the delivery man waited.

Parenthetical expressions

Commas before parenthetical expressions set off the sentences. Whether the parenthetical expression is helpful or unnecessary, it should be preceded by commas. The correct placement of the commas depends on the nature of the expression. As a rule, there should be a set of commas before every parenthetical expression. Here are some examples of when you should use commas before parenthetical expressions:

Parenthetical expressions are used in places where the sentence does not contain enough information to support the main idea. They are also referred to as non-essential information, meaning they are not necessary for the reader to fully grasp the basic meaning of the sentence. Parenthetical expressions may be appositives, asides, and interjections. They may be moved around in the sentence and still need a comma to demarcate them.

Similarly, commas are necessary to separate introductory clauses and nonrestrictive clauses. Nonrestrictive clauses add extra information to a sentence. They are often preceded by the word which or who. They are used to introduce new ideas or information. They may also have dependent clauses. For example, “The study’s results will change the way drugs are administered to AIDS patients.”

Dependent clauses

There are two main ways to form a dependent clause. The first way is with a subordinate clause. The dependent clause may include an independent subject and verb. The second way involves a coordinating conjunction or a comma before “so.”

The first way involves using a comma to separate independent clauses from dependent clauses. When the dependent clause is not necessary or restrictive, you can use a dash or parentheses to separate them. But if the dependent clause is essential, you must use a comma. If you can’t determine whether it’s essential or not, try adjusting the word choices between the independent and dependent clauses.

When independent clauses are short and closely connected, a comma isn’t necessary. In writing environments where commas are generally used without question, omitting a comma emphasizes the conjunction of two thoughts. It’s important to keep in mind that omitting a comma does not break the meaning of a sentence. In fact, it could make it sound more crowded and less concise.

When a subordinating conjunction follows a dependent clause, it’s not necessary to put a comma before the dependent clause. However, a comma can be used before a dependent clause if it has a negative word. Using a comma before a dependent clause eliminates the possibility of confusion. Without the comma, a sentence could be read in two ways – one way and another. The reader would be confused as to which is correct.

In addition to using commas before dependent clauses, writers may use connectors to separate independent clauses from subordinate clauses. In the latter case, a dependent clause is referred to as a subordinate clause. Similarly, an independent clause can be separated by a semicolon. It’s common to use coordinating conjunctions in a sentence, and a subordinating conjunction makes the independent clause dependent.

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A subordinate clause consists of a subject and a predicate. They do not have the same meaning as the independent clause. When they stand on their own, an independent clause conveys a complete thought. It requires a more elaborated thought to make the sentence complete. The dependent clause is joined to another main clause by a subordinating conjunction. The independent clause may stand alone as a sentence.

Run-on sentences

What makes a sentence a run-on? The answer is not the sentence length. The run-on status of a sentence is determined by its punctuation and sentence structure. In a run-on sentence, two or more independent clauses are joined together by a comma. However, if the sentence is three independent clauses, a comma before the first clause will fix the run-on and change the wording of the sentence to make it a dependent clause.

A run-on sentence is a pair of independent clauses joined together with a comma. This is a basic error, and it is rarely accepted by editors and teachers. It’s okay to use commas to join two independent clauses with an imposter when the two parts have the same form and tone, and if the rhythm of the sentence calls for it. However, if you’re using this technique to end a sentence, you must have a good reason for doing so.

The problem with run-on sentences is that the independent clauses are not joined properly by punctuation. A period, question mark, or exclamation mark is necessary to complete the sentence. A comma alone is not enough to join two independent clauses, as it is not sufficient for the purpose. A comma plus a coordinating conjunction is needed for joining independent clauses. A comma alone is not allowed in a run-on sentence.

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Another mistake that people make with commas is the splice between two clauses. When this happens, the writer is trying to use a transitional expression in the middle of a sentence. To fix this problem, the writer should use a comma before the transitional expression, and a semi-colon after the transitional expression. Here, the semi-colon is an essential part of writing, and you can learn about it on the semi-colon page.

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