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I'm puzzled on why a comma is used in this sentence.

"He showed admirable restraint, and refused to be provoked."

Independent and Dependent clause logic doesn't work here. I saw this on Cambridge online dictionary for the word "restraint".

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    To indicate a small pause.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 14:44
  • Some 'rules' (and this is one of them) about comma usage are only guidelines masquerading as rules. You are free to use or omit a comma here, depending on which you think 'sounds' better (or conveys the intonation you want). Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 15:30
  • Thank you for clearing my doubt.
    – Nitin
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 16:28

1 Answer 1

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A version with the repeated subject 'he' would definitely have that comma before the coordinating conjunction 'and' (according to the rules for combining two independent clauses using a conjunction from a special list; https://webapps.towson.edu/ows/modulecs_fs.htm). A sentence of that kind would logically connect the 2 actions of the same person (the second action becomes better understandable after reading about the first one). A well-known example with the same subject in both clauses:

(Churchill) You chose dishonour, and you will have war.

Our sentence, a bit modified:

He showed admirable restraint, and [he] refused to be provoked.

Looks like (at least, in the author's intentions) after omitting the repeated subject, the comma in its place keeps the sense of the whole sentence different from simple enumeration of the person's actions.

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  • Thank you for clearing my doubt.
    – Nitin
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 16:28

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