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Old 04-27-2012, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
322 posts, read 749,915 times
Reputation: 167

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Hi, I wanted to get some opinions on this. I have been told that I have been using commas incorrectly in situations that did not sound right to me. I was taught a long time ago to use commas in these situations and had never once been previously informed that doing so was an incorrect move to make.

Specifically, I was told that I am making an error using a comma before a subordinating conjunction. What I do is that I use a comma before I use the word "as" if the parts of the sentences before and after could make complete sentences on their own (independent clauses?). However, a subordinating conjunction is a word used between an independent clause and a dependent clause - the cause of my confusion.

Examples include:
  • I am going to the store, as it carries milk.
  • A increased focus on your job may cause an increase in your pay, as you are more apt to produce high-quality work when you block out all other thoughts while working.
  • The San Antonio Spurs need to focus on inside play if they hope to advance in the playoffs, as the team holds a height advantage on most of its opponents.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 81,060,397 times
Reputation: 36413
Grammarians, as they need to justify their existence from one generation to the next, have declared that to be a usage that was formerly correct, but is now non-standard, such as informal, archaic, or worst of all, Appalachian.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
72,830 posts, read 68,757,036 times
Reputation: 91603
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingthegreen View Post
Hi, I wanted to get some opinions on this. I have been told that I have been using commas incorrectly in situations that did not sound right to me. I was taught a long time ago to use commas in these situations and had never once been previously informed that doing so was an incorrect move to make.

Specifically, I was told that I am making an error using a comma before a subordinating conjunction. What I do is that I use a comma before I use the word "as" if the parts of the sentences before and after could make complete sentences on their own (independent clauses?). However, a subordinating conjunction is a word used between an independent clause and a dependent clause - the cause of my confusion.

Examples include:
  • I am going to the store, as it carries milk.
  • A increased focus on your job may cause an increase in your pay, as you are more apt to produce high-quality work when you block out all other thoughts while working.
  • The San Antonio Spurs need to focus on inside play if they hope to advance in the playoffs, as the team holds a height advantage on most of its opponents.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
I agree with your examples, as they agree with what I was taught, too.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:02 AM
 
5,816 posts, read 14,888,936 times
Reputation: 4691
I second Mightyqueen's agreement with your examples, as leaving out the comma could confuse the meaning in some sentences.

Look at your first example, and the confusion about the meaning that could occur without the comma. "I am going to the store as it carries milk" could be mistaken for meaning something like a) "When the store carries milk, that's when I'm going there." This wording would be awkward, and the sentence, b) "When the store carries milk, that's when I'll go there." would make this meaning more clear, but a) would be technically correct grammatically as a way of expressing the idea that you'll go to the store only at the times when it carries milk. Including the comma makes it clear that the meaning is that you'll go to the store because it carries milk.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
322 posts, read 749,915 times
Reputation: 167
Thanks for the replies.

For what it's worth, Towson University says that only seven words can be used as coordinating conjunctions (fanboys is the acronym they use: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), and "as" is listed as a subordinating conjunction lower on that web page. CONJUNCTIONS

I guess that since "as" is listed as a subordinating conjunction, even if I use it with two phrases that could stand on their own (independent clauses), it is still a subordinate conjunction. Goes completely against what I was taught and what I have been doing habitually without fail for nearly a decade. *sigh*
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 81,060,397 times
Reputation: 36413
If (according to fanboys) the word 'since' is not a conjunctions, one would not be using 'as' as a conjunction by substituting it for 'since'.

Both dictionaries in dictionary.com list 'as' as a conjunction that can serve as a substitute for 'since', without any notation limiting its formal acceptability. The examples they cite precede 'as' with a comma.

Last edited by jtur88; 04-30-2012 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,543 posts, read 28,317,809 times
Reputation: 6379
My little widget dictionary lists As: a prefix, a noun, a conjunction and a preposition. The Thesaurus list it as a conjunction, and a preposition.

Go figure!
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