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To join two independent clauses, use a comma followed by a conjunction, a semicolon alone, or a semicolon followed by a sentence modifier.

Examples

  • Incorrect: The delivery boy knew he carried strange cargo, but still ventured off unafraid.

  • Correct: The delivery boy knew he carried strange cargo, but he still ventured off unafraid.

  • Incorrect: My math teacher doesn't know how to lecture, she should have remained a student.

  • Correct: My math teacher doesn't know how to lecture; she should have remained a student.

  • Incorrect: Gregor has not changed physically; but has given himself an excuse to separate himself from the pain of previous experiences.

  • Correct: Gregor has not changed physically; however, he has given himself an excuse to hide from the pain of previous experiences.

    References

    More information about this rule is available from the following sources.

    Online Resources:
  • The Elements of Style: rule 4 and rule5

    Printed Resources: (see Books on Writing section)
  • Strunk and White: 1-4 and 1-5
  • Hacker: P1-a and P3-a,b
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