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Hi there,

I was told not to use a comma before some adverbs such as 'because', although' , but I found a sentence in a textbook on learning English like this:

To date, we have not traced it, although we are usually very efficient when dealing with incoming remittances.

Why is there a comma in front of 'although'? Is it a modern usage?

Thanks in advance.

Simon
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Comments  
These particular commas (before subordinating conjunctions) are used rather cavalierly these days, and depend more on the writer's view of the restrictiveness of the clause.
The original poster should check the New York Times, the comma is still in common usage there:

http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?query=although&srchst=nyt
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Please see this
Don't put a comma after the main clause when a dependent (subordinate) clause follows it (except for
cases of extreme contrast).

1. She was late for class, because her alarm clock was broken. (incorrect)
2. The cat scratched at the door, while I was eating. (incorrect)
3. She was still quite upset, although she had won the Oscar. (correct: extreme contrast)
(from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_comma.html )
i see it a lot nowadays (before although)... so i gues its ok... before becuase i wouldn't use a comma... thts wat i've been taught...
You should not put a comma after the main clause when a dependent (subordinate) clause follows it except for cases of extreme contrast. I guess the sentence above can be considered an extreme contrast. For example;

Incorrect: She was late for class, because her alarm clock was broken.

Incorrect: The cat scratched at the door, while I was eating.

Correct: She was still quite upset, although she had won the Oscar. (This comma use is correct because it is an example of extreme contrast)
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Thanks for your answer. Using a comma in cases of extreme contrast makes sense!
When u check "although" in a dictionary, u find two meanings for it; 1. in spite of the fact that, and 2. but or however. You need to use a comma before the independent clause starting with although when it is used in its second sense.
I checked with the online Oxford dictionary and under the first meaning for although which is 'in spite of the fact that', it gave a few more examples. I copied them to paste here. In the second example, a comma is used despite of the fact that the although in that example falls into the first category of use.
  • He likes the fact that although the club has a cosmopolitan feel it still clings to old values.
  • We can agree the deletion of the second paragraph, although this is a statement of fact.
  • We kept on coming back on safaris, but although we longed to move here we knew it was just a distant dream.
Can anyone explain why that is so? Thank you.
AnonymousYou need to use a comma before the independent clause starting with although when it is used in its second sense.
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