It is possible (but very uncommon) to write such a subordinate clause after the main clause, in which case it makes sense to omit the comma: The subordinate clause is, arguably, essential in this case. Comma before “while” 0. 17 Comments . Because her alarm clock was broken, she was late for class. “While” is somewhat more complicated because it has two different meanings. While I was eating, the cat scratched at the door. “Although” also has two meanings. It can also go in the middle of the … You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. There is also a prescriptive rule in American English, commonly quoted as “‘which’ can only be used in non-essential clauses”, but the topic is rather complex, so I wrote more about it in a separate article . I didn’t know that you were here. Comma Rules Chart . This depends on whether the subordinate clause contains essential information that cannot be removed from the sentence. It depends on how 'tightly coupled' the will phrase is to what precedes it. NONFINITE (REDUCED) CLAUSE; A clause followed by before, after, when, while or since can be complemented by a nonfinite gerund clause (1) if the reference —person, animal, entity doing the action— remains clear (i.e., the subject of both clauses is the same¹) and (2) if no other important information is lost.. MAIN CLAUSE: TEMPORAL PHRASE: SUBJECT'S ACTION IS MODIFIED A restrictive clause limits the meaning of a sentence when you remove it. The comma here improves legibility and is a better representation of spoken language (there is usually a pause before “whereas”). Read more about commas in lists. English language rules for comma usage can get complicated. While is a subordinating conjunction, but in some circumstances it can act as an adverb of concession as well. The megaproject went billions of dollars over budget, as the cost of cement was unexpectedly increased. Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. Commas don't just signify pauses in a sentence — precise rules govern when to use this punctuation mark. Notify of . It's perfectly fine to put a comma BEFORE "while" in that sentence: Cheung says that, while it was very easy to describe Chinese consumers 10 years ago, it's not so easy today. The price of eggs is rising while the price of milk has stayed the same. As you may have noticed, sometimes commas flank a phrase beginning with “such as.” On other occasions, “such as” appears without a comma. We also use where as a conjunction and there it takes a comma. That’s why two sentences can look structurally similar while … Compare: Remember: When contrasting two facts, use a comma. It simply talks about which/what place. The rule of thumb is: When you contrast two things, use a comma. Or; I spend most of the journey deliberating on my decision to come home with Mark while he repeatedly draws breath as if intending to say something but deciding against it. When talking about time, don’t use a comma. Note that some authors do not precede “whereas” with a comma, which I find rather unfortunate. When where serves as an adverb, it generally does not take comma before it. Whereas is always used for contrast. While. Don’t use a comma before while when you’re talking about two things happening at the same time. Here is an example of "which" without a comma: Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald. Brits are fine with this. I prefer chocolate cake, while my sister prefers key lime pie. Note that a dependent clause should be separated from an independent clause by a comma only when the dependent clause precedes the independent one. Use a comma before while in the middle of a sentence when you mean “whereas” or “although.”. A lot of people have strong feelings about putting a comma before and in a list. You're veering to the territory of restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. Also, the way that Jake has it in his example, is that he wrote an Appositive-restrictive phrase. (Guideline: Use a comma before a coordinator—and, but, yet, or, nor, for, so—that links two main clauses; do not use a comma before a coordinator that links two words or phrases. Littleweezyanna 1 year ago Nice. to receive a weekly summary of new articles, Follow me to get updates and engage in a discussion, You can use the image on another website, provided that you, guide on how to avoid the most common mistakes. The price of eggs is rising, while the price of milk has stayed the same. There are some cases where you know you should use a comma – such as when separating items in a list – but there are other times when you might be unsure whether or not a comma is needed.. Although he is a mathematician, he doesn’t know how to solve integrals. When to put a comma before “while” How to fix a comma splice. [essential, no comma]. The other meaning of while indicates a contrast. While/whilst can be used for contrast, OR to mean "at the same time". Before we reveal which sentence needs a comma and which doesn’t, let’s go back to a term from the beginning of the show: participial phrase. And why am I telling you all this? As a rule of thumb, you don't use a comma before a clause that begins with that. Therefore, I am confused whether to use a comma before while in the following sentence. Let’s order the curtains while they’re still on sale. For example. One meaning is related to time. The “comma before and” you’re referring to is called an “oxford” or a “serial comma” and is used depending on the industry. Let’s discuss them in more detail. Put it at the end of the clause that while introduces. (As the highlighted clause is required is define "a comb," there is no comma before "which." We use which with nonrestrictive clauses, while we use that with restrictive clauses. Do use a comma before while when you mean “whereas” or “although.” When while is used as a conjunction, it has two meanings. Most people don’t know how to solve integrals; what makes the fact relevant is that the person in question is a mathematician. Slightly more complex is the question of whether you should use a comma before "while." You also need a comma before an interrogative “which” when the word appears in dialogue. On the other hand, when a direct question appears within a longer sentence, it should always be set off by a comma. While there’s some degree of flexibility in how commas are used, it’s important to have a clear grasp of the rules. Or you could use no commas at all: Cheung says that while it was very easy to describe Chinese consumers 10 … Example: When I was younger, I had a cat named Whiskers the Magical Cat. However, there are usually better ways to express the same idea, such as: By the way, if you haven’t read my guide on how to avoid the most common mistakes in English, make sure to check it out; it deals with similar topics. My parents died during the time when I was still at school. I know where he is - the 'adverb' use of "where". Here's my simplified explanation: While and whilst are the same, but whilst is a bit more formal (according to one famous grammar book). Can anyone explain the difference? In this sense, it means “whereas” or “although.” Newest Most Voted. Unless you practice law, you don’t have to worry about this. You usually put a comma before and when it’s connecting two independent clauses. Littleweezyanna 1 year ago Comma,comma,comma,comma comma chameleon. When it means “whereas”, it should be separated by a comma: More often than not, “while” means “during the time when” or “at the same time as”, and in this sense it virtually always provides essential information and is not separated by a comma. If the dependent clause follows the independent one, no comma is places before if, whether, because, although, since, when, while, unless, etc. Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. He doesn’t know how to solve integrals although he is a mathematician. When it is used to provide supplementary information that partly negates what has been said previously (in which case it can basically be replaced by “but”), you should use a comma: However, “although” can be used at the beginning of a sentence to introduce a fact that makes the rest of the sentence somewhat surprising, e.g. “While” is some­what more com­pli­cated be­cause it has two dif­fer­ent mean­ings. In other words, if the As appears before the main clause -like in your example- it needs a comma. In many sentences, if there is no comma before as, then as means “in the way that” or “while.” When you insert a comma before as, its meaning changes to “because.” Many writers (even good ones) forget to put a comma before the word as when one is needed (or they use a comma when they shouldn’t). In other words, it depends on how important the phrase is to the overall meaning of the sentence. I will have to get to your post later, @Seven Crowns, in order to address the complexities here. I decided to take a nap under my desk while everyone else was in the meeting. )I sent Elaine a basket full of apricots, mangoes, bananas, and dates. Should you precede a subordinate clause with a comma? But there, it'd mean *on the contrary or on the other hand They connect two clauses. Let’s order the curtains, while they’re still on sale. eg He surprised her with an engagement ring. He doesn’t know how to solve integrals despite being a mathematician. If you want to read more about the distinction, you can read my other article on the topic. If you can replace while with as, then it shouldn't have a comma before it. Use a comma with “As” as a conjunction As a conjunction, “as” is equivalent to “because”. Exercises . He … Tweet Pin It. It’s almost always optional to put a comma before and in a list. The comma should go between the things being contrasted or happening at the same time. We have used "who" because using "which" without a comma is an unpopular practice (especially in the US). The comma was used here because a subordinate clause that precedes the main clause is always followed by a comma, no matter how essential it is. When “for” is used as a conjunction between two clauses (“for” is the F in FANBOYS) then you need a comma before it. In these circumstances it should have a comma before it. It goes at the beginning of the second clause and is usually separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma. However, commas are also used before subordinate conjunctions when the subordinate clause is non-essential to the meaning of the sentence. Put a comma after one of those bad boys to separate it from a complete thought. When it means “whereas”, it should be sep­a­rated by a comma: correct This sentence is correct, while the sentence below is wrong. In this sense, it means “whereas” or “although.”. Commas can be a particularly tricky punctuation mark. I decided to take a nap under my desk, while everyone else was in the meeting. When it’s used as a preposition (e.g., some flowers for my mom) you probably don’t need a comma before it, unless it’s in a list or some other structure that needs commas. I rang the bell and pounded on the door, but no one answered. I never know when to use a comma before with and when not. Read more about the Oxford Comma. In the temporal sense, while describes something that is happening at the same time as something else. Inline Feedbacks. Don’t use a comma before which when it’s used to pose an indirect question. Comma before 'while' ? But if you’re using while to mean “whereas,” you still need to put a comma somewhere. Tone vs. “Whereas” is also used in legal documents in the sense of “because of the fact that”. The other meaning of while indicates a contrast. In the latter case, while must be preceded by a comma. Reply. Is a comma before "while" optional? Because clauses starting with “whereas”, “while”, “although”, and similar conjunctions are just special cases of this rule. In the temporal sense, while describes something that is happening at the same time as something else. Common starter words for introductory clauses that should be followed by a comma include after, although, as, because, if, since, when, while. Distinguishing between the two meanings is important to make yourself understood. Note the comma before WITH. When while is used as a conjunction, it has two meanings. Do use a comma when “as” can be substituted with “because”. While and whereas are conjunctions. If it does, it is not preceded by a comma, and if it doesn’t, it must be preceded by a comma. I spend most of the journey deliberating on my decision to come home with Mark, while he repeatedly draws breath as if intending to say something but deciding against it. A nonrestrictive clause doesn't. 1. None of the examples you gave require a comma. I wanted to ensure I was correct not to include a comma in the following sentence . I've been taught that while proceeded by a comma means "whereas", and that when it is not, is interpreted to mean "at the same time". Subscribe. Don’t place a comma before which when which is part of a prepositional phrase. Exactly why this particular quirk of comma usage stirs such passions is hard to say; it’s just one of … The comma before a conjunction in a list is known as an an Oxford Comma or a serial comma. One meaning is related to time. When while is the first word of your sentence, you obviously shouldn’t add a comma in front of it. And: The Blue Ridge mountains are beautiful, while the Rockies are grand. When used with a restrictive clause, you don’t need to put a comma before that. While my sister prefers key lime pie, I prefer chocolate cake. No comma and "with casual aplomb" is a adjectival clause modifying "The kid", while with the comma (actually two of them are needed) it is an adverbial clause modifying the verb, "threw". There’s no single rule that applies to all situations. It is just a normal subordinating conjunction. It's an awkward sentence but that's beside the point. So: I can't study while my little brother is beating on his drum. I prefer chocolate cake while my sister prefers key lime pie. In other words, there is virtually never a comma before “that”, unless there is some other reason to use a comma, such as another non-essential subordinate clause ending there. Comma Before And in Lists. wrong This sentence is correct while the sentence below is wrong. Mood: How to Use Tone and Mood in Your Writing, 5 Writing "Rules" That Are Really Guidelines, Beware of These Common Consistency Issues in Writing. If you are ill, you ought to see a doctor. “Whereas” is typically used to contrast two things: Notice how the clause after “whereas” is a non-essential piece of additional information (“I am very tall” means exactly the same, no matter what the “whereas” clause says). Is there a rule you can refer me to? View all comments. While the price of milk has stayed the same, the price of eggs is rising. In the example above, the direct question must be set off from the rest of the sentence. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more. Even though the Oxford Comma is named after the Oxford University Press (who still use it), most Brits do not use an Oxford Comma. If it appears after the main clause -Like in Jake's Example- there is no need for the comma. On the other hand is not a conjunction. Oldest. Could you tell me, which is your favorite? T tanguatlay Member Mary talked about her past relationship problems with her son, while Herman shared honestly his marital woes. "Stick to your guns, Lola," he replied happily, while pinching both of my cheeks. Americans are not. Used `` who '' because using `` which '' without a comma pause before “ whereas ”.! When “ as ” is also used in legal documents in the meeting an Appositive-restrictive phrase drum. Separated from the rest of the sentence his marital woes, don ’ t use comma! Correct while the price of eggs is rising while the sentence, you can me! 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Are also used in legal documents in the example above, the scratched. And communication tips for your inbox contrast, or to mean `` at the same time “... € you still need to put a comma before which when it ’ no... His marital woes a nap under my desk, while my sister prefers key lime.! Question appears within a longer sentence, it means “ whereas ” is some­what more com­pli­cated be­cause it two! A lot of people have strong feelings about putting a comma before while you’re. No comma before and when it ’ s no single rule that applies to all.. Where '' your inbox obviously shouldn’t add a comma my parents died during the time when was. To worry about this is beating on his drum when used with a restrictive clause limits the meaning the... Seven comma before while, in order to address the complexities here signify pauses in list!

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