We’ve updated the look and feel of ProWritingAid. Learn more about our new chapter.

Learn more
Punctuation Comma Rules 2022-10-03 00:00

Comma Before or After a Coordinating Conjunction: Do You Need It?

comma with subordinating conjunction

Coordinating conjunctions are used to join grammatically similar elements (two nouns, two verbs, two modifiers, two independent clauses, etc.).

The most frequently used are and, or, nor, so, but, for, and yet.

When a coordinating conjunction is used to join two independent clauses, you should use a comma before the coordinating conjunction. An independent clause contains a subject and a verb and could stand alone as a sentence.

  • It rained for twenty days in a row, so it was no surprise when the river burst its banks.

Some writers may choose to omit the comma if the two independent clauses are short and well-balanced (about the same length).

  • I like cheese but I don't like grapes.
Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.