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Welcome to Writer 2 Writer, my weekly discussion of topics important to...you guessed it...writers! Today I'm introducing a new game called WRITER'S CHALLENGE. I give you two examples of a sentence and you tell me which one is correct! Today we're going to tackle COMMAS.
Let's get started! Here is the first two examples:
A) Jeannette slammed the bedroom door and Brian flopped back onto the bed.
B) Jeannette slammed the bedroom door, and Brian flopped back onto the bed.
Rule: Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.
Tip: If you can remove the conjunction and read each clause as an independent sentence (each with a noun and verb) then a comma is required.
Let's try one more that is closely related:
A) Billy opened his book and sat down to read.
B) Billy opened his book, and sat down to read.
Rule: Don't put a comma between the two verbs or verb phrases in a compound predicate.
Tip: If you remove the conjunction and one clause cannot form a complete sentence, a comma is not required.