My mom is concerned about my grades because she feels that I have not been studying enough lately.

  • The punctuation (i.e. - none except a period at the end of the sentence) is fine. Don't be tempted to change it. – FumbleFingers Feb 23 '14 at 21:42
  • @FumbleFingers: ...although I would perhaps add a comma before because myself. It adds a subtle change in meaning. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Feb 23 '14 at 22:55
  • @Cerberus: I agree that in the CMOS example linked to under Newb's answer, (He didn’t run, because he was afraid), the comma can be significant. But I don't see how the meaning of OP's example can be affected by the presence or absence of a comma. When I Google grammar punctuation "comma before because" nearly everything seems to be from people saying "don't do it unnecessarily". A typical entry being writingwithclarity, which would clearly indicate "Don't" in OP's example. – FumbleFingers Feb 23 '14 at 23:20
  • @FumbleFingers: Without a comma, the subordinate clause is somewhat more closely connected with the main clause. In this case, the comma makes it slightly more like an afterthought (although that is too strong a word). Where the main clause can stand alone, as here, I don't think a comma would be wrong at any rate. But it is to me of little importance. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Feb 24 '14 at 2:29

You could add a comma after grades, but you don't have to. The punctuation is fine.

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    I disagree. From englishforums.com 'Because' normally introduces a dependent clause, and dependent clauses are normally restrictive, hence taking no comma. For an example of where the comma is necessary/desirable, see this CMOS item - which doesn't correspond to OP's construction. – FumbleFingers Feb 23 '14 at 21:40
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    Note that on your englishforums.com reference, the website being cited is the University of North Carolina. You may be correct in terms of American English, where commas are generally less frequently used than in British English. Moreover, the CMOS appears to be the most fervent proponent of this rule. However, I would be curious what the Oxford Style Manual has to say (I don't have one on hand). – Newb Feb 23 '14 at 21:56
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    I'm UK, and (Oxford comma notwithstanding) my impression is Americans are far more wedded to "superfluous" commas than contemporary Brits (the US Harry Potter books have more commas than the original, for example). The modern trend everywhere is to reduce punctuation, and in this respect (as with, say, secularism) the US is conservative by comparison with Britain. Note that the specific citation is incidental - the entire thread was concerned with finding support for what all posters agreed (that the comma was usually not wanted). – FumbleFingers Feb 23 '14 at 22:34
  • @FF Harry should disapparate them. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 14 '15 at 10:23

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