I've read on dozens of threads that if 'and' is followed by a dependent clause, no comma should be placed before it, and if 'and' is followed by an independent clause, it should most definitely be proceeded by a comma.

But I've also read that if the information at the end of a sentence is a nonrestrictive modifying clause, it takes a comma. So what about in sentences like this--

And that’s where I found myself some time ago, mental chains binding me to my sea of pillows and blankets that were definitely overdue for a wash.

"blankets that were definitely overdue for a wash" obviously has no verb or subject to stand on its own, so there should be no comma before it, right?

But then, on the other hand, if I don't put a comma before 'and', how do I show that the "...and blankets..." is extra info and only the blankets need to be washed, not the pillows.

  • 1
    This rule applies to distinguishing conjoined independent clauses from compound subjects, objects, and complements. See my answer here: english.stackexchange.com/a/364049/125330. Your example of finding yourself has a trailing absolute construction, something not closely tied to the syntax of the independent clause. So a preceding comma is recommended. The absolute is a compound noun phrase -- chains and blankets. So no comma separating the parts. – deadrat Dec 18 '16 at 22:15

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