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Example 1

After I said bad things about him, he got angry and I got scared from looking at his angry face.

Example 2

After I said bad things about him, he got angry, and I got scared from looking at his angry face.

Which one is correct?


For me, Example 1 sounds wierd because the cause-and-effect is in one unit even though logically me getting angry is indeed after I said something. In Example 2, me getting scared is a standablone sentence, which sounds better to my ears.

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  • It's perfectly normal to use "and" to join two clauses separated in time, eg "He caught pneumonia and died".
    – Stuart F
    Nov 15, 2023 at 10:33
  • The sentence (1) sounds bad? Can you really hear the lack of a written comma? Nov 15, 2023 at 11:32
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    I got scared from looking at his angry face. is not right. I was scared by his angry face. The got scared is a bit much.
    – Lambie
    Nov 15, 2023 at 12:47

1 Answer 1

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In OP's exact example the presence or absence of the comma (pause, in speech) can't make any difference to the meaning, because there is only one possible meaning in terms of causes and effects. But consider something just slightly different, such as...

After I insulted them, he got angry[,] and she appealed for calm

...it is possible for the comma to affect the parsing. With no comma we're more likely to tie both "outcomes" together as reactions to me insulting them. With the comma, it's easier to understand her appeal for calm as a reaction to him getting angry.

Note that these are just possible interpretations. The presence or absence of the comma/pause doesn't unambiguously determine which parsing applies.

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