I have read in grammar books that a comma is usually used when making a complex sentence. For instance:

  1. If you keep talking to your mother like that, I will have to teach you manners.

  2. Although she is smart, I won't give her the job.

On the other hand, I have also read that a comma is not needed when the independent clause comes first except when the dependent clause is a "non-defining clause". So,

  1. She likes soap operas, which I find boring.

  2. They finished the job on time, which they rarely do.

  3. That house,which is for sale, belongs to a German family.

  4. I won't let you go to any parties anymore if you keep telling me lies.

  5. She is really shy whereas her sister is really talkative.

I made up the above sentences, so they may sound not really natural or even wrong in terms of meaning, but the grammar aspect is my goal here.

Last but not least, I wrote the following sentence:

  1. I'm willing to help her although she has always been very rude to me.

But somebody corrected it like this:

  1. I'm willing to help her, although she has always been very rude to me.

I thought that a comma was not needed when the independent clause appears first. (Except the non-defining clause case)

1 Answer 1


Well according to my knowledge

we can use commas to join two sentences, which can be related to each other or talking about only thing. or if second sentence giving more information about first one. like

I like oranges, if they are fresh. I love to go with you, but have some work to finish

check below rules for commas:

  1. Use a comma before any coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet) that links two independent clauses. Example: "I went running, and I saw a duck."

  2. Use a comma after a dependent clause that starts a sentence. Example: "When I went running, I saw a duck."

  3. Use commas to offset appositives from the rest of the sentence. For example, "While running, I saw a mallard, a kind of duck." "A kind of duck" is the appositive, which gives more information about "a mallard."

  4. Use a comma after introductory adverbs. "Finally, I went running."


follow this , Added example according to your question

  • Yep, your second example " I (d)love to go with you,but I have some work to do" as a compound sentence is ok to me,but I'm still in doubt about first one "I like oranges,if they are fresh". I'm not saying it's incorrect;I just think there might be a grammatical explanation for it .In fact,that explanation is what I'm looking for.
    – juan
    Sep 20, 2017 at 5:07
  • please check, I have updated the answer and added link to follow for further digging.
    – teju c
    Sep 20, 2017 at 7:22
  • The link you gave was really useful,and it's actually raising a lot of questions about punctuation rules I didn't know.
    – juan
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:11
  • Sorry,I was halfway through typing when I submmited the comment by mistake.
    – juan
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:13
  • Sorry ,but again ,something is wrong with my phone..my question is- In the complex sentence " I'll help her, although she has always been very rude to me", can the dependent clause after the comma be "considered as"an appositive,or is it indeed an appositive?I mean,apart from a dependent clause, is appositive the technical name given to that clause?
    – juan
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:22

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