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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Criminal Sentence 90: A Comma between Two Sentences

Take this sentence:

"Most of the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast is under a hurricane warning ahead of Ike and authorities ordered residents to leave the coastal city of Galveston."

There isn't anything wrong with this, but I wanted to point out that a comma before the "and" might have made the sentence a little smoother. A comma would eliminate a possible misreading: "a hurricane warning ahead of Ike and x." Earlier in the paragraph, I chose to put a comma before the "but." There's no rule that you must put a comma before a conjunction ("or," "and" or "but") between two sentences, but I think a comma there helps the reader.


Anonymous said...

I thought there was a rule about commas separating two independent clauses. Otherwise they are considered run-on sentences.

The Sentence Sleuth said...

Can you be more specific with an example so I can be certain I know what you mean?