Commas with Compound Sentences

How do I use a comma with a compound sentence?

Compound sentences contain two or more main clauses.


    (1) The murderer was in the room at that moment, but nobody knew it.

    (2) Leaves are falling, flowers are dying, and winter is coming.

The main clauses may be linked by a coordinating conjunction, as in the examples above. Remember that a comma is needed before the coordinator. For more about commas and conjunctions, and for a set of exercises on this topic, see section 3.4e.


Sometimes the conjunction is omitted, as in the the following sentence. But don't forget that there must be a comma in between the two independent clauses.

    On Tuesday I have an afternoon meeting, on Wednesday a doctor's appointment.


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Copyright © 1998
English Department
University of Calgary

Last updated: July 26 1999