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I have the following sentence that i need to punctuate

Paul's neighbours were terrible so his brother's friends went round to have a word

From my knowledge a semicolon must be used between two independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunction;so this must be the punctuation:

Paul's neighbours were terrible;so his brother's friends went round to have a word

But here in question 6 it says that a comma is needed before the coordinating conjunction hence the sentence is

Paul's neighbours were terrible, so his brother's friends went round to have a word.

Where am i wrong?

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    Those clauses aren't independent.
    – Useless
    Nov 5, 2018 at 17:13
  • What's interesting is that the sentence would make more sense (and not be open to debate) if you simply swapped terrible and so: Paul's neighbours were so terrible his brother's friends went round to have a word. Nov 6, 2018 at 4:03

1 Answer 1

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You are wrong that "a semicolon must be used between two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction."

You should know that "two independent clauses can be joined by either a semicolon or a coordinating conjunction."

You should also be aware that it is somewhat odd for grammarians to teach that "a coordinating conjunction separates two independent clauses, but a subordinating conjunction changes the clause that it fronts into a dependent clause." They do so because only a dependent clause is 'adverbial', which allows its position to change relative to the independent clause.

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