Do You Need a Comma After 'So' or 'And'?

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  • 0:03 Punctuation Marks
  • 0:37 Conjunctions
  • 1:39 Comma Before 'And' & 'So'
  • 2:40 Comma After 'And' & 'So'
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lesley King

Lesley has taught ESOL for many years, holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and a doctorate degree in Instructional Leadership.

In this video, you'll learn how to use a comma before the two conjunctions 'so' and 'and.' You'll also explore some examples of when to use a comma after these conjunctions, so that you can see the different contexts for applying the rule.

Punctuation Marks

There are different punctuation marks in the English language, and they each have a particular job to do. When used in different ways, they help reading become meaningful and expressive. Just as there are different types of punctuation marks, there are also different parts of speech. A good reader, writer, and speaker must understand how to use both correctly so that they can maximize their usage potential. For example, a comma can serve as a signal to a reader or speaker that he or she should take a brief pause. Let's take a closer look at maximizing comma usage for reading enhancement.

Conjunctions

You're probably too young to remember the Schoolhouse Rock 'Conjunction Junction, what's your function?' song, but your parents may have grow up watching that show on Saturday mornings. The song makes for an effective learning tool, so if you have the time, search for it on Google. At the very least, you'll get a good laugh.

Conjunctions are words used to connect phrases or multiple sentences together. A phrase is a group of words that does not express a complete thought, as opposed to a complete sentence that has a subject and a predicate and does express a complete thought.

The most commonly used conjunctions are:

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

The word FANBOYS can help you remember them. While there are other conjunctions, these are the ones that are used the most. Some examples of a conjunction connecting two words include 'John and Michael,' 'blue or green,' and 'Neither Lucy nor Jose.' No comma is needed when a conjunction is only combining standalone words.

Comma Before 'And' & 'So'

Although commas are used in many different ways, in this video we're only going to address the use of commas with the conjunctions 'and' and 'so.'

A comma should be used with conjunctions, such as 'and' or 'so,' when they're combining two or more complete sentences. When a comma and conjunction are used to combine sentences, the comma always goes before the conjunction. Let's take a look at an example:

  • I will go to the store, and I will not buy any candy.

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