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When to use a comma before ‘and’ or ‘but’

When two simples sentences are joined together using and or but you should put a comma before and or but.

A man is cleaning his car with a hose pipe, but there is also very heavy rain.

I am trying to clean my car, but I don’t have any soap.

When two simples sentences are joined together using a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), it should have a comma before it.
• I have spoken to Sarah, and she has confirmed the dates.
• I have spoken to Sarah. + She has confirmed the dates.
(Two simple sentences joined together with and)

Compare . . .
• I wanted to go to the beach but couldn’t afford to pay for a hotel room.
There shouldn’t be a comma before but because couldn’t afford to pay for the hotel room is not a complete sentence.
In the following sentence there should be a comma before but because I couldn’t afford to pay for a hotel room is a complete sentence.
• I wanted to go to the beach, but I couldn’t afford to pay for a hotel room.

Remember: A comma when you join two sentences.

 

  • Remember: A comma when you join two sentences.

    The bear wants to play with his friends, but they can’t see him.