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Punctuation for Correct Sentences: 3 Simple Rules

  1. Two independent clauses (= complete sentences) joined by a COORDINATING conjunction (FANBOYS) must be separated by a comma.
  2. Two independent clauses (= complete sentences) joined by a CONJUNCTIVE ADVERB OR TRANSITIONAL must be separated by either a semicolon or a period They may not be separated by just a comma, because that would produce a comma splice.

  3. A subordinate--or dependent --clause is a group of words that starts with a SUBORDINATE CONJUNCTION, includes a subject and verb, but does not complete an idea by themselves.  Subordinate clauses must be joined to an independent clause either directly (that is with no punctuation in between) or by a comma. They may NOT be cut off from the rest of the thought by a period or semicolon.

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More Sentence Punctuation Explanations with Examples

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