English as a Second Language/Conjunctions.

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QUESTION: Hi,

My question is related to the use of commas when we're using conjunctions:
I know we put comma before conjunction if a subject is immediately after conjunction.
For eg:

Tariq and Jordan joined the soccer game and helped the team win.

So, why we don't put comma before 1st and here,Jordan is a subject.


Michael and Sam gave Paul and me some tips on how to throw a basketball, but they didn't help with our form.

Same with this but in this why we don't put comma before first 2 and(s).

Is it somehow related with compound noun?
What is a compound noun and when we use it.

Thanks.

ANSWER: Hello Apoorv,

let me see if i can help you here.

Commas before conjunctions...

I think the rule you have in mind is the following:

If a conjunction joins two independent clauses, you need a comma before it.


For ex:

He's extremely talented in Math, but he prefers to do Chemistry experiments.

My new assistant can play the piano, and she can also speak fluent French.

If the two clauses are very short though there is no need for a comma, but it's not incorrect to use one.

For ex:

Mom went to school and I stayed at home. or Mom went to school, and I stayed at home.

Back to your examples:

I think you need commas with both your sentences:

Tariq and Jordan joined the soccer game, and helped the team win.

Michael and Sam gave Paul and me some tips on how to throw a basketball, but they didn't help with our form.

The only reason someone may not use a comma in the first sentence (Tariq and Jordan...) would be due to the fact that those might be considered short sentences... which can be debatable. So to be on the safe side, stick to using a comma every time.

Also "Tariq and Jordan" is the subject in the first clause, and so is "Michael and Sam" - there is no need to place a comma before "and" in any of these.

Compound nouns are a totally different topic and have nothing to do with any of the sentences above.

Compound nouns are made with 2 + words and can be combinations of noun + noun, adjective + noun, verb + noun, etc.

You can find more info on compound nouns here:

http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/nouncompound.html



I hope this helps.

Looking forward to more of your interesting questions.

Best,

~Amy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the explanation. Helped me a lot.

Also what about this one: A silly question, but nevertheless


Sam washed his face, and he combed his hair.This is correct but what if we remove "he" after "and".
I think comma is still needed,right?

Sam washed his face, and combed his hair. Or Sam washed his face and combed his hair.

Which is correct.

Again.
Thanks

Answer
No such thing as a silly question :)

Sam washed his face, and he combed his hair. is not a correct English sentence. "he" is redundant here.

The correct sentence is Sam washed his face and combed his hair. or Sam washed his face, and combed his hair.

You can use a comma if you want, but you don't have to since you have two short independent clauses joined by a conjunction. (See my original answer)

I hope this helps.

~Amy

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

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I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

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I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

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