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A few examples:

He gulped from his glass(,) then stroke and twisted it.

He blinked at her for a few second(,) then smiled.

She stared at his chest for a moment(,) then agreed with a nod.

As you can see, all of these sentences have a dependent clauses after "then" (they are not complete sentences). On the other hand, they sound like nonrestrictive clauses (they are not necessary for the first sentence).

So I'm confused ... should I add a comma before "then" or not?

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    In your first sentence, it should be stroked, not stroke. In your second sentence, it should be seconds, not second. – Jason Bassford Jun 1 at 15:57
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Adding a comma before 'then' in the above sentences definitely makes them more readable. So, I would suggest using it.


He gulped from his glass, then stroked and twisted it.

He blinked at her for a few seconds, then smiled.

She stared at his chest for a moment, then agreed with a nod.

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