Woo-hoo, I’m back to posting to Reed’s Writing Corner. After a hectic week and review of my schedule, I’ve decided it would be better to write these posts on the weekends for posting on Mondays. If you’ve not figured it out yet, Reed’s Writing Corner is as much a personal study guide as it is my way of giving back to the community, and I need the time for the topic to sink in.

So, here we are looking at the comma again. In my last post, That Cantankerous Compound Sentence: Where Does That Comma Go, we looked at compound sentences, coordinating conjunctions, and how we can use the acronym FANBOYS to identify and properly join them. What exactly are independent clauses though?

An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought. An independent clause is a sentence.

That’s pretty simple. An independent clause is a sentence that expresses a complete thought with the use of a subject and verb (its amazing how rewording phrases make them stick).

Here are two example of an independent clause:

Reed wrote in his blog about independent clauses. He found it very educational.

These sentences are pretty basic and sound more appropriate for a beginning reader’s book. This is where what we learned in our last post comes into play. By joining the two independent clauses with a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction we have a much stronger sentence than the two by themselves.

Here is what we are after:

Reed wrote in his blog about independent clauses, and he found it very educational.

This is not the way to go:

Reed wrote in his blog about independent clauses he found it very educational.

In this second example, it sounds like it was the independent clauses that I found very educational and not the act of writing about them.

Simple and yet governed by many rules, the comma, when coupled with the power of the independent clause can add clarity, elegance, and style to your writing.

Join me again next week for: Dependent Clauses Need Those Commas Too