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We will have a lot of skills, but certainly, we also have limitations.

I don't know whether it's right or wrong to place "but" and "certainly" together. Since "but" is conjunction, while "certainly" is adverb here. Should i change it into:

We will have a lot of skills, but, certainly, we also have limitations.

Can you give me some help?

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    I'm with @Rathony on this: only use a comma if you need to or if the sentence would be more confusing if you didn't have one. In this case I don't think one is needed after "but". I'd go so far as to say you don't need one after "certainly" either. I would change it to "We will have a lot of skills, but certainly we will also have limitations." personally. Mar 10 '16 at 9:46
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    The fact that but is a conjunction and certainly an adverb is not an issue; place two commas if you want to put an emphasis on certainly.
    – Kyle
    Mar 10 '16 at 9:51
  • Your second sentence follows every grammatical rule and uses every possible comma, but do you really need three breaths to say it aloud? If not, then it's time to economize by omitting whatever commas you can. The omission of the comma between a coordinating conjunction and an adverb beginning a second clause (e.g., 'but certainly' or 'and therefore') is well established in formal writing, and the omission of all commas is equally established in short sentences, where no pause for breath is needed. Speak the sentence aloud; if you pause (naturally or for emphasis), then punctuate.
    – Egox
    Mar 10 '16 at 10:23
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Having "but" and "certainly" next to each other is fine. I'd advise you include the comma after "but", as well; there is a rule in English that states that when you have a coordinating conjunction between two independent clauses, you should include a comma before the conjunction(source). As such, the second construction,

We will have a lot of skills, but, certainly, we also have limitations.

is definitely correct.


As for the first construction,

We will have a lot of skills, but certainly, we also have limitations.

I'd advise refraining from using it if you're writing in an academic context, as unless "but certainly" can replace "but" as the conjunction of the sentence somehow, it doesn't follow the rule we talked about earlier. However, if you're writing fiction or in an informal setting, then it's totally up to you (I've seen some authors include/exclude commas in the past in order to better express how their character is speaking).


On a different note, you're using a different tense when talking about having skills than you are when you talk about having limitations. If you truly mean to say "We will (in the future) have lots of skills, but we also (currently) have limitations" that's fine, but if you instead mean to say that you'll have both skills and limitations in the future, you should change this to "We will (in the future) have lots of skills, but we will also (in the future) have limitations".

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  • I'm sure it's just a typo, but the comma should go before the conjuction. John Clifford in the comments has the simplest and least 'ugly' solution.
    – Jascol
    Mar 10 '16 at 10:54
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I'd advise "...skils but, certainly, we..." .

Or, if your sentence would be more complexe after the period, you could have : "We will have a lot of skills, but [-]certainly[-] we also have limitations, to try to implement in Texas this kind of scheme concerning offshore oil extraction..."

"...skills, but, certainly, we..." makes too much punctuation outside an enumeration.

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