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I often get baffled as I think about where to use comma in the sentence and where not to do so. Examples:

1. As he left the Mayor's office , people surrounded and questioned him with serious curiosity.

2. After the meal had concluded (why is no comma used here?) the chief of police appeared on the scene .

I know that two clauses could be separated by the use of FULLSTOP, COMMA before FANBOYS, or by using the semicolon... But none of the them is used in the second sentence and also in the first sentence only comma is used and not any of the FANBOYS word after comma is used. Why?

  • Why is no comma used in the second example? Because you decided not to include it! There's no absolute grammatical rule governing your choices here - the comma is equally "optional" in both examples. But note that both sentences contain adverbial clauses that can't exist as standalone sentences, so you can forget about including any extra full stops. – FumbleFingers Aug 1 '17 at 12:31
  • I think there should be a comma in the second sentence as well as the first – Sean May 7 '18 at 17:49
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The purpose of the comma is to clarify written text. You could put a comma after the introductory phrase in both examples, if it helps clarity. In speech, the phrases form intonation groups, and a comma can help mark the boundaries of such groups. You could also leave the comma out. Rules based grammar checkers tend to put in more commas than are required for understanding.

By "fanboys" I guess you mean a coordinating conjunction (For, And, Nor ...). We do often use commas before coordinating conjunctions, but this is a guideline rather than a rule.

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