Perhaps someone could clarify the accepted punctuation for a sentence where a conjunction has been omitted. I'm quite clear about when a coordinating conjunction has been omitted but not as clear for other conjunctions such as because. Check out the following:

I think I should (,) (;) (.) It's important for all of us.

This is a statement in dialogue and answers the question "Are you going to go?", so its full meaning "I think I should go because it's important for all of us" is understood by the listener and then would this only require a comma? But what about the alternative ways of writing this sentence:

I think I should go, for it's important for all of us. (Yes, I know we wouldn't say that, but my first statement is also an abridged version of this grammatically correct structure, that uses the coordinating conjunction for rather than because and would then need to be punctuated with a semicolon.)

Or how about if I consider the spoken version is an abridged version of:

It's important for all of us, so I think I should go. I don't think this has much relevance to my question, but again it's another way of looking at it using a coordinating conjunction within an unabridged sentence, albeit transposed.

  • BTW "Are you going to go?" is a ridiculous colloquialism. It's akin to "Are you performing to perform?", "Are you doing the do?". "Are you going to going to going to going to going to go?" should be simply expressed as "Will you be going?" Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 11:30
  • In defense of "going to go," the infinitive "to go" in this expression uses "go" in the sense of "depart, travel, or attend"; but "going" has the sense of "intending"—as it does in the superficially paradoxical question "Are you going to wait for me?" Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) identifies the latter sense of "go" as being "chiefly Southern & Midland [U.S.]" In regions where use of "going to go" is uncommon or unheard of, it may well seem ridiculous; but in places where people commonly use "going" in the sense of "intending," it ruffles few feathers.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


Omitting because in the sentence

I think I should because it's important for all of us

produces two clauses each of which can function as a sentence:

  • I think I should.
  • It's important for all of us.

Combining those with just a comma produces a "comma splice", and is wrong.

* I think I should, it's important for all of us.

If you don't want to use a full-stop, use a semi-colon. In this case where you are omitting because, you could even use a colon as that connects the two clauses more closely.

  • I think I should; it's important for all of us.
  • I think I should: it's important for all of us.
  • Thanks, Andrew. I didn't even think of the colon as an option, so I'm impreesed with the answer and will rate you if I can find out how.
    – RoDaSm
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 11:22
  • @RoDaSm If you like the answer, click the up-arrow above the score on the left; if you want to accept the answer, click the tick below the score on the left. There may be better answers coming so you might want to wait to accept one, but don't forget altogether!
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 11:30
  • Yet another option is to use an em dash (—) to indicate a break in thought: "I think I should—it's important for all of us."
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 21:29

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