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1. Boy's bullying has always attracted attention, because it is crudely obvious.

2. The percentage or letter-marking system is better than the pass/fail system, because marks motivate students to work harder.

Can I omit the comma before because in the above sentences?
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Comments  
Yes, you can omit the commas.

CJ
1. Boy's bullying has always attracted attention. Because it is crudely obvious. [Replace the full stop with a comma.]

2. The percentage or letter-marking system is better than the pass/fail system. Because marks motivate students to work harder. [Omit the full stop or replace it with a comma.]

The above sentences are quoted from An introduction to English Grammar, written by Sidney Greenbaum.

It seems that the comma is optional in #2 but obligatory in #1. Is that right?

By the way, An introduction to English Grammar was written for British students. Perhaps there is a difference in the usage of commas betwen AE and BE.
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Hi Teo,

I've looked through 'comma' section in Simon and Schuster 'Handbook for Writers' and found out the following:

First of all, your sentences have two parts, which are 'Independent sentence' and 'dependent clause'. For example,

Boy's bullying has always attracted attention because it is crudely obvious.
(Independent Sentence) (Dependent Clause)

Dependent clauses are usually started with (because, when, although, if, etc...)

I belive, whenever you combine these two (independent and dependent) in the following order you don't need comma.

Independent + dependent

Boy's bullying has always attracted attention because it is crudely obvious.
(Independant Sentence) (Dependent Clause)

I belive, whenever you combine these two (independent and dependent) in the following order you will need comma.

Dependent + Independent

Because it is crudely obvious, boy's bullying has always attracted attention
(Dependent Clause) (Independent Sentence)

Response to your previous message, I belive, you can never use Dependent clause without Independent sentence. If you put 'period' in between, the period will create two sentences, and 'indepent clause' will becomes meaningless.

I try my best to make my explaination clear.

Comments are welcome.
Louis
I wouldn't myself call either sentence incorrect, if the comma were omitted; but I would myself use one before "because" in each case.

(I find that among BrE writers, comma usage is quite varied. The usual tendency is to omit them where they're needed, and insert the ones you save thereby in wholly unnecessary places.)

MrP
Nine times out of ten I find myself following the practices outlined by Louis.
But a comma before a because-clause seems correct to me when I want to show that the information in that clause is somewhat less connected to the main clause in terms of logic, i.e., when I want a sort of "by the way, this is because ..." feeling.

CJ
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1. Boy's bullying has always attracted attention, because it is crudely obvious.

2. The percentage or letter-marking system is better than the pass/fail system(,) because marks motivate students to work harder.

Perhaps the author thinks that if the subject of the because-clause is the same as that of the main clause, the comma is obligatory.
He's at home, because I've just spoen to him.

He's at home because he's not feeling well.
Yes, Teo, those "he's at home" examples are exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. Emotion: smile
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