1

If the dependent clause is nonessential, of course. For example:

There were other conspicuously terrifying moments during the ride but not any more terrifying than that one.

or

There were other conspicuously terrifying moments during the ride, but not any more terrifying than that one.

  • 1
    Yes. It needs a comma there. – WS2 Dec 3 '15 at 0:15
1

I believe that what you're dealing with is a compound predicate; i.e. you have one subject with more than one predicate. It might help to explain this first, because (a) it might not be obvious and (b) it informs the answer.

To start with, there is a dummy subject. Your real subject is the noun phrase other conspicuously terrifying moments. The two clauses contributing to your sentence, rearranged to remove the dummy subject, are

  • Other conspicuously terrifying moments were during the ride. [I.e. other terrifying moments occurred/existed during the ride.]
  • Other conspicuously terrifying moments were not any more terrifying than that one.

(In this analysis, the two instances of were are different verbs, coming from different contributory clauses, even if repetitive of a single verb form.)

You can also perform a similar breakdown while leaving the dummy subject intact, if that seems easier to grasp:

  • There were other conspicuously terrifying moments during the ride.
  • There were other conspicuously terrifying moments not any more terrifying than that one.

Combining these two sentences with but as a coordinating conjunction, you get an awkward compound sentence:

  • There were other conspicuously terrifying moments during the ride, but there were other conspicuously terrifying moments during the ride not any more terrifying than that one.

Getting rid of the second instance of both the subject and were through ellipsis, you get your compound predicate:

  • There were other conspicuously terrifying moments during the ride but not any more terrifying than that one.

This is different from many compound predicates in that many have two explicitly different verbs, so the second verb is not elided. Here, instead, you're faced with the same verb form in the second instance, which can be elided although the two instances differ in their sense.

And the answer is...

Regarding compound predicates, the fourteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style says

Preferably, the comma should not be used between the parts of a compound predicate. ... A comma may be added, however, if misapprehension or difficult reading is considered likely without such punctuation. (5.33)

So the answer seems to be that it might be considered better style not to put a comma before but in your sentence (in fact this advice is all over the internet, for example here and here), but there's no hard and fast grammar rule against it, and for such a sentence, if a comma were to aid in apprehension, you should probably put it in.

Commas are often largely a matter of style and clarity rather than of grammar per se.

-1

Perhaps I am misreading your intention, but I would write, "There were other conspicuously frightening moments during the ride, but none more terrifying to me." "Terrifying" is a subjective observation (not capable of being proved objectively), and so is therefore personal to you, the traveller. Someone who slept through the ride, for instance, might not have the same feelings about the experience as you.

-1

Commas are placed after but if but introduces an independent clause. An independent clause "stands on its own." It could be it's own sentence and has meaning without the aid of another sentence.

Commas needed:

"I like going to San Francisco, but I don't like going in fall."

"He told me to work on my report, but I shouldn't waste too much time on it."

Commas not needed:

"I like vanilla ice cream but not chocolate."

"He liked my music but only on Sundays."

"I wanted to go to Houston for the holidays but only for a short trip."

In your sentence, but is introducing the dependent clause, "not any more terrifying than that one." This phrase cannot "stand on it's own." It needs the previous clause to make sense.

I would punctuate the sentence thus:

"There were other conspicuously terrifying moments during the ride but not any more terrifying than that one."

This website has more info.

Check out note 2a on this website.

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