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The following sentence comes from a Youtube video regarding idioms:

"So, he finally decided that letting Annette go would be the lesser of the two evils as an angry staff is a less productive staff and one person, no matter how good, can eventually be replaced."

The first question, Shouldn't a comma be placed before the dependent clause "and one person, no matter how good, can eventually be replaced."? Also, I think, it could remove a potential ambiguity or confusion.

Secondly, I don't grammatically fully understand the use of the phrase "no matter how good" in that context; I mean, what is the grammatical justification for that kind of use?

Were I to write the sentence, it would look somewhat like this:

So, he finally decided that letting Annette go would be the lesser of the two evils as an angry staff is a less productive staff, and one person, no matter how good he is, can eventually be replaced.

Further context:

"The manager found himself between a rock and a hard place when he had to either lose Annette, his best salesperson, or promote her and anger most of his senior staff, who don’t like her."

  • Your guess is right no matter how good he is is what it means. I'd also place a comma before and one person. – SovereignSun May 19 '17 at 6:47
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    So much confusion in your mind! You're messing up run on sentences, coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, dependent and independent sentences, punctuation, etc. The example sentence is correct as it is, including punctuation. – Lucian Sava May 19 '17 at 7:14
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    A lot of uses of commas are matters of style and taste, but in this case, I don't see any reason to put a comma before and. The structure of the sentence is basically "He decided X as Y and Z". It reads less fluently with a comma there. – stangdon May 19 '17 at 13:58
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A run-on sentence occurs whenever you have two clauses that could stand as sentences in their own right, and are joined without and appropriate conjunction or punctuation.

In your example, they are joined with an appropriate conjunction, and. Thus, it is not a run-on sentence.

The use of a comma in addition to the conjunction in such a situation is a largely stylistic matter.

As to the matter of no matter, it is being used parenthetically, as an aside that adds supplemental meaning without being grammatically or syntactically (or usually even semantically) essential. It is often used thus, appearing directly after the noun to which it relates. You might understand it better if you substituted it with "no matter good that person is", or perhaps might be.

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