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Is comma required here ?

Tan029Tan029 10 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
Which one is correct?
A) I call my grandma once a week—not on my phone, but on my tablet.
B ) I call my grandma once a week—not on my phone but on my tablet.
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My thought is that if we place comma before ‘but’ then it should act as full stop(.)
So, phrase after it - “on my tablet”- should be a complete sentence , but it is NOT.
So, (A) should be WRONG.
Please confirm that my thought is correct or not.
7 replies
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Replies to: Is comma required here ?

  • inthegardeninthegarden 1032 replies19 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    The comma does not act as a full stop, and the phrase after the comma does not need to be a complete sentence.
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  • Tan029Tan029 10 replies4 postsRegistered User New Member
    @inthegarden ,
    comma + FANBOY = period

    Here, comma + But = period
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 823 replies20 postsRegistered User Member
    It's not grammatically necessary because the conjunction "but" is not separating two clauses, but a lot of comma usage is based on how the writer wants the sentence read. If you want a reader to pause there, keep the comma. Commas are pauses; periods are full stops.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 672 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    Grammar site, with which I concur:

    The rule for but is the same as that for the other six coordinating conjunctions: and, for, or, nor, so, and yet.

    If the conjunction precedes an independent (main) clause, use a comma: “Jack tried a new diet, but he still gained weight.”

    If the but is not followed by an independent clause, no comma is needed: “Jack tried a new diet but still gained weight.”

    So B
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  • AboutTheSameAboutTheSame 3086 replies44 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @RichInPitt is half right -- stating one of the standard rules -- but @taverngirl has the better answer. Honestly, if this is something important [like a common app essay?], I'd rewrite the sentence and moot the issue.
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  • CACloverCAClover 58 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I agree with @taverngirl. Because you are joining two prepositional phrases, not two independent clauses, the comma is not required. However, it is often used to set apart a phrase that contrasts with the one before. In my opinion, putting it in and leaving it out are both correct. If you want to emphasize the contrast of the second prepositional phrase, put it in. If you prefer the smoother flow without it, then leave it out. A lot of grammar is not like a math problem; sometimes you have a choice.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 672 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    Is this from some type of standardized test or are you asking for something you are writing?

    I assumed it was from a test, so having a choice, based on writer's preference, either is correct, etc., aren't really applicable - there is indeed a correct and incorrect answer.

    If it's for personal writing - I suggest rethinking how to document what you are trying to communicate. It's a very stilted sentence.
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