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Do you use a comma if the clause following the main clause implies a complete sentence on its own?

For example:

1) I went to the mall, and I bought more clothes than I intended.  Correct.

2) I went to the mall and bought more clothes than I intended.  Correct?--or should a comma before the "and" be used since "I bought" vs. "bought" is implied?  

Thanks.

Original Post

Hello, KC328, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

@KC328 posted:

Do you use a comma if the clause following the main clause implies a complete sentence on its own?

For example:

1) I went to the mall, and I bought more clothes than I intended.  Correct.

You have labeled (1) as being correct. I'd say it needs "to" or "to buy" at the end:

1a) I went to the mall, and I bought more clothes than I intended to.

@KC328 posted:
2) I went to the mall and bought more clothes than I intended.  Correct?--or should a comma before the "and" be used since "I bought" vs. "bought" is implied? 

The sentence is correct with or without a comma before "and." There is no need for a comma. There are not two independent clauses. Although you can expand the second verb phrase ("bought more clothes than I intended to") into an independent clause by adding "I," that does not mean that "bought more clothes than I intended to" contains or implies an independent clause. There is one main clause, and it has two coordinated verb phrases. No comma is needed, but you can add one if you wish.

2) I [went to the mall]VP1 and [bought more clothes than I intended to]VP2.

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