Edits By Knight

Adding Dependent Clauses: Comma or Conjunction—or Both?​

          Assuming (as I am) you know how to identify a dependent (or subordinate) clause—which I’ll talk about in a separate blog post—the rule for using commas in relation to them is pretty simple: If the dependent clause appears before the clause it’s attached to, it should be followed by a comma; otherwise, add a subordinating conjunction (words like as, if, how, and because), and leave the comma out—though there are a few exceptions to the latter, which involve the use of “strong” subordinating conjunctions, such as whereas, after/before, since and (al)though.

 

     When in doubt, you can always do a quick internet search to figure out if the subordinating conjunction you’re using is considered “strong” or “weak.” Here are a few examples to give you an idea of when commas should—and shouldn’t—be used with dependent clauses:

     After I get off work, I plan to take a long bath. While I’m bathing, I’ll read my new book, and I know I’ll enjoy it because it’s by my favorite author.

     My husband is going to cook dinner when he comes home. As I won’t make pasta, he knows he has to do it. Even if he burns it, I’m going to eat it.

     My sister might not come over if there’s no food, though my mother will still come, since she’s never hungry. She’s also bringing my brother, who will eat anything. We’ll watch a movie and go straight to bed when they leave.

     Be sure to check out the rest of the rules of comma usage, and visit visit my blog’s main page to find tips and tricks for editors, writers, and freelancers!

Miko lives in North Alabama with their husband, Mark—two bright blue dots in a really red state. The pair have three cats, Henry, Louise, and Jefferson Twilight, and live the quiet and satisfying lives of two nerdy introverts. The work-from-home lifestyle is perfect for Miko, who was diagnosed with ADHD and autism in their late thirties.

     In their spare time, Miko enjoys gardening, playing the piano, singing, playing JRPGs, Tabletop gaming, and (of course) reading.

For more about me, visit my blog here.

Miko lives in North Alabama with their husband, Mark—two bright blue dots in a really red state. The pair have three cats, Henry, Louise, and Jefferson Twilight, and live the quiet and satisfying lives of two nerdy introverts. The work-from-home lifestyle is perfect for Miko, who was diagnosed with ADHD and autism in their late thirties.

     In their spare time, Miko enjoys gardening, playing the piano, singing, playing JRPGs, Tabletop gaming, and (of course) reading.

For more about me, visit my blog here.