I've been getting back into creative writing after years away from it and have been running into some grammar issues. This time, it's about clauses and commas.

'I like him because he's funny and he's rich.'

Should there be a comma after 'funny' because 'he's funny' and 'he's rich' are two seperate clauses? I feel like there shouldn't be because 'I like him because he's funny, and he's rich,' makes the second part of the sentence feel like an afterthought rather than one of two at-hand reasons why the speaker likes 'him', which is what I'm going for.

  • 2
    Creative writing means trusting yourself and your ear for dialog. Any concious decision, even with slang, can help your writing. The fact that your example is short also justifies the comma skip. Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 21:16
  • Yeah, I would say no comma unless you intentionally want that afterthought effect that you mentioned. I don't think a comma is necessary even if there are two separate clauses. For example, I think the following would be fine: "I like him because he's funny and I like him because he's rich."
    – cruthers
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 22:08
  • (Of course, you could say "I like him because he's funny and rich"...) Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 23:25
  • Also, I find it striking that the comma in the final sentence of your question keeps it ambiguous exactly what you are going for: "... an afterthought rather than one of two reasons**,** which is what I'm going for." If there were a comma after "afterthought," it would be clear that you want the afterthought approach. Without it, maybe you want the "one of two" approach. Not honestly sure. Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 23:28
  • Following Yosef Baskin's comment, punctuation is not actually to do with grammar. If it were, we should have to say that a spoken sentence differs grammatically from the same sentence written down. The use of a capital for the first person singular pronoun is a convention for which there is no need. We do not write 'We see A mouse", so why write "this is what 'I' think"? It's a convention. Commas help the reader through a sentence, just as do the rise, fall and pauses in the voice that utters it. Follow Josef Baskin's advice and trust your instincts.
    – Tuffy
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 23:52


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