So, should a comma precede ‘because’?
This is one of the millions of questions fighting for answers in the minds of English students like me. With the uniqueness of the English language, and sometimes its vastness, a lot of people find it hard to have an outstanding grasp.
Don’t ask if I’m one of them.
To get yourself a lot of kudos in writing, it’s important that you apply all grammatical rules correctly. Today, here comes one of the “I want to knows”.
Should a comma precede the word ‘because’?
Let’s start with what I have below.
How to Use Because in a Sentence
What’s the difference between these two sentences:
- I wouldn’t buy a car in 2019 because of the cost.
- I wouldn’t buy a car in 2019, because of the cost.
Usually, the power for the use of because is with the writer. You can either let your readers have a full grasp of a sentence with the word “because” or not; the use of comma does it all.
The use of comma before the word because is for clarity. It’s mainly used to rid of ambiguity and set a clear tune for the sentence.
1. I wouldn’t buy a car in 2019 because of the cost.
By not using a comma in this sentence, it’s ambiguous.
Sentences with contractions normally leave rooms for questions.
Contraction: A word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds.
‘won’t’ is a contraction of ‘will not’.
So, if I say I wouldn’t buy a car in 2019 because of the cost, someone might ask what else can make me buy one.
I wouldn’t buy a car in 2019 because of the cost. I would buy one because of the need.
That means, whenever you’re using a contraction or the sentence is ambiguous, the use of comma will set a tone for the exact meaning of the sentence.
2. I wouldn’t buy a car in 2019, because of the cost.
From this sentence, you’re affirming that the main (and probably the only) reason you won’t be buying a car is for the cost.
Simple? I think so too.
Now let’s see this:
3. I love you, because you’re beautiful.
The sentence above could mean the particular reason why you are professing love is that your object of love is beautiful.
That could be limiting, you know?
And that could brew troubles for you if you’re dating a grammar queen.
In general, placing a comma before the word because depends largely on the writer’s thoughts about the particular sentence and other sentences surrounding it. That’s to say the use of comma with “because” is dependent on the context of the whole write up.
Cause and Effect
If the reason for the part of the sentence before because is solely tied to the other part after because, then you should use a comma. That’s where cause and effect comes into play.
Remember, you have the power to use (or not use) a comma before “because”. You only need to know exactly what you mean by your choice and then, don’t confuse your reader’s.
Before you go, I suggest you read the comments as some of them will help you get a better grasp. Go ahead and read the comments!
Make sure you drop a comment too, as a proof that you understand what you have learned.
What if you think some things are not right? Ideas and suggestions are welcome.