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Hi, I was reading up on verbals and realised I had a question. Here is the sentence:

Verbals are derived from verbs, but because they are nonfinite verb forms, they cannot serve as the predicate of a clause.

Verbals are derived from verbs=main clause

but=coordinating conjunction

because they are non-finite verb forms=dependent clause

they cannot serve as the predicate of a clause=independent clause

Question

Is the comma preceding the BUT essential or optional? Why?

Formulae,

Independent clause , coordinating conjunction independent clause
Independent clause dependent clause
Dependent clause , independent clause
Independent clause dependent clause , independent clause

In this case it looks like this. Is there a formula (punctuation)?

Independent clause coordinating conjunction dependent clause independent clause

What is the punctuation?

Is the comma there only because the sub. clause is non essential, or is there a rule based around having a conjunction before the sub clause and after the main clause?

Thanks.
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I guess we have this going on [url=http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/TwoCommaQuestions/hdvpj/post.htm ]ANOTHER THREAD[/url] now, don't we?
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Eddie88Is the comma preceding the BUT essential or optional?
Use a comma before but or and if the following independent clause explicitly states its subject. Don't use a comma if the next independent clause does not explicitly state its subject. It's not just a matter of joining independent clauses; it's a matter of whether the subject is present in the second one.

He has finished the first part but is still working on the second part. [he is implicitly the subject of the second clause.]
He has finished the first part, but he is still working on the second part. [he is explicitly stated.]
So the comma before but is correct below. The second of the two independent clauses explicitly states its subject.
Verbals are derived from verbs, but because they are nonfinite verb forms, they cannot serve as the predicate of a clause.

Compare:
Verbals are derived from verbs but cannot serve as the predicate of a clause. [no comma]

CJ
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Comments  
Oh, cool, that makes sense.

I knew that if the subject isn't repeated in just two clauses that the comma is not needed, but I never thought that I should look at it the same way when a clause is between them.

As the post above yours said, I suppose how essential the middle clause is to the overall sentence may have some influence over the use of the comma, too.

Did you find this piece of information from a site because I would quite like to have a look at it?

Cheers.
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Eddie88Did you find this piece of information from a site
The only site I know of is in my head! It's something I learned in school many years ago! Emotion: smile
Punctuate any subordinate clause and the independent clause it goes with first. Then consider what to do about the other independent clause with its and or but connection. Build from the smaller units to the bigger ones.
____
When he is lonely, he calls Mary for a chat. [The when clause is first; use a comma.]

Paul is hardly ever lonely.
Putting them together:
Paul is hardly ever lonely, but when he is lonely, he calls Mary for a chat.
____
Paul calls Mary when he's lonely. [The when clause is last; no comma.]

He is hardly ever lonely.
Putting them together:
Paul calls Mary when he's lonely, but he is hardly ever lonely.
____
Sometimes the two independent clauses are so coordinated that the subordinate clause applies to both of them.
After studying for an exam, you should close your books and put them away.
You should close your books and put them away after studying for an exam.
CJ
Your example is convincing. I would like to know something.

Paul is hardly ever lonely, but when he is lonely, he calls Mary for a chat.

In the sentence above, " when he is lonely" is a dependent clause. Is it okay if it follows a conjunction? In this case it is "but."

Please explain this. This is against the formula mentioned too.

independent clause, conjunction independent clause.

In this case it is a dependent clause.