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I have a sentence which includes two independent elements connected by 'and' within an adverb clause. Do I still place a comma before the and?

Ex:

Jett's dad died when he was seven and his little brother was three.

or

Jett's dad died when he was seven, and his little brother was three.

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    The adverb clause is 'when he was seven and his little brother was three.' Adding a comma in the middle merely confuses matters. – chasly from UK Sep 2 '15 at 18:28
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    But when you get to 'Jett's dad died when he was seven, his sister was six, and his little brother was three.' the comma becomes a very useful tool. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 2 '15 at 18:51
  • I agree: leave it comma free unless you have a whole list of clauses, in which case you may apply the general comma rule for lists. – Born2Smile Sep 2 '15 at 19:02
  • You better not, or it could possibly mean the elements are "independent" (they are not). Parse: (Jett's dad died) (when) (he was seven and his little brother was three.) – Kris Aug 27 '17 at 9:28
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To add a comma to separate two things isn't always wrong.

There are two reasons we could never work out: you, and me.

...but if it's not necessary -- and it isn't in your example -- we have another famous principles about when to use commas:

"If in doubt, leave it out."

As I browse the Internet looking for commentary on this, I generally find advice that commas should separate three or more items in a list. I think this is always a correct option, and almost always the best one. (But not always -- as in the previous sentence!)

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