A conjunction is a part of speech
that connects words, phrases or clauses and shows the relationship
between them. Coordinating conjunctions are used to connect words
or word groups when the elements are grammatically equal. There are
several coordinating conjunctions – and, for, but, so, or, yet,
nor – depending on the sentence intent. In order for your
writing to be clear and free of grammatical errors, it is important
to know when and when not to use a comma with a coordinating
Before we start, there are a few
additional definitions required.
– The part of the sentence that
contains the main verb and all the words in the sentence that come
after the verb. The predicate contains additional information that
discusses the action or provides other information about the subject – Thomas
ran around the
house looking for his book.
(Here ran is the verb
which serves as the simple predicate. When combined with all the
information in italics, it is a complete predicate).
– Otherwise known as a simple
sentence, an independent clause contains a subject and a predicate
that works together as an independent unit of thought or meaning – Leslie studied all night for
Below are situations where commas
are required when you use a coordinating conjunction.
Use a comma before a coordinating
conjunction that is used to connect two independent clauses.
final work, A Faithful Narrative, was published after the
revival was already in decline, yet it created an
international stir which would impel further contributions.
LULAC, for example, initially denied
membership to immigrants and Mexican nationals, and López
vehemently denounced the bracero work program and the presence of
Use a comma with the coordinating
conjunction to separate items in a list if the style you are using
requires it. Most documentation styles such as APA, MLA, and
Chicago require a comma before the coordinating conjunction
that connects the last element of a series or list when that list contains three or more
items. This will be a factor in most formal academic writing, such
as book reviews and research papers.
It is the story of immigrant
struggles emphasizing the rampant poverty, limited opportunities,
and racial tensions that are a part of daily life for residents
of this area.
Sometimes the use of a comma and
coordinating conjunction is a rhetorical choice.
comma can be used before a coordinating conjunction if you want to
Woodward does not include as extensive a discussion of education as
the prior authors, but still emphasizes the divisiveness
surrounding educational policy.
Do not use a comma when the coordinating
conjunction links parts of the sentence predicate.
Ex. Residents are forced to rely
on each other for aid in tough times and on charity for