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Hi, I'm not sure whether I can use a comma in this sentence or not before the word "but."

Of the total number, 30.5% of Americans took out a mortgage on their homes, but less than 10% were able to make timely payments.

I think that a comma should not be used here because we're combing an independent clause with a dependent clause. I think that the following phrase, "less than 10% were able to make timely payments" is a dependent clause (am I right?), because this phrase lacks a Subject.

Please let me know. Thank you.

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I'm not sure whether I can use a comma in this sentence or not before the word "but."

Of the total number, 30.5% of Americans took out a mortgage on their homes, but less than 10% were able to make timely payments.

I think that a comma should not be used here because we're combing an independent clause with a dependent clause. I think that the following phrase, "less than 10% were able to make timely payments" is a dependent clause (am I right?), because this phrase lacks a Subject.

The subject of the second clause is 'less than 10%'. This means that both clauses are independent, and they are joined by 'but'. Therefore you don't need a comma. However, if the clauses are long, a comma is sometimes added to make it easier for the reader to follow the meaning.

Clive

Comments  
Shay Singh(am I right?),

No. The subject of the second clause is "less than 10%".

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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.

Thank you Clive!! All of what you've said makes sense, except for one thing. From what I understand, we typically (and perhaps always?) use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (like "but") when we're using it to join two independent clauses together. At least this is what I've encountered. Could you explain? Thank you Emotion: smile

Yes, that's true, although I found a few references where they add a word like 'usually'.


For myself, I don't see it as a rule, but as something where the writer can make a choice.

I don't see why, it would be wrong to write a sentence like

He loved her but she died.

I don't mean that it's wrong to say

He loved her, but she died.

They just have slightly different emphases.

Clive

Clive

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I see Clive, thanks so much, that makes sense. I get it now 😁 😁