1

Here's an example:

Her deception had been so deep, so disappointing(,) that he swore never to speak to her again.

Should there be a second comma there? I'm sure you need a comma if you write that sentence like this:

Her deception had been so deep, so disappointing, he swore never to speak to her again.

But since there's a that there, I'm not very sure.

2

Yes, there should be a comma (in my opinion). If you could use an 'and' (a conjunction) to join the words but choose not to, normally you need a comma.

In your example, after 'so deep' you could choose to write 'and so disappointing' so you should have a comma.

A general grammar rule is that when joining two independent clauses with a conjunction you should have a comma before the conjunction. (See this page and this page for more information)

Your sentence is interesting. The basic phrase is:

Her deception meant that he swore never to speak to her again.

Here we expand the sentence, replacing 'meant' with adjectives that describe why it meant what it did. The words 'had been so deep and so disappointing' are added in, functioning as adjectives describing her deception.

Her deception had been so deep and so disappointing that he swore never to speak to her again.

So it's clear that in the full sentence we don't need any commas.

If we choose to remove both 'and' and 'that' we need commas:

Her deception had been so deep, so disappointing, he swore never to speak to her again.

If we include the 'that' then I think we are free to either include the comma or not. The sentence will read properly with no pause before the 'that' or with a pause before it.

Her deception had been so deep, so disappointing, that he swore never to speak to her again.

Her deception had been so deep, so disappointing that he swore never to speak to her again.

If we don't include 'that' we definitely need the comma.

  • @Lucian Silva - thanks for your comment. I've edited the answer to include 'independent' and provided links to external sites which explain that part in more detail. Thanks for taking the time to post your comment. – Lifelong Learner Sep 20 at 14:08

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