As the sentence after 'or' is not an independent clause:

 

Here's the rule:

"When a coordinating conjunction joins two independent clauses, a comma is used before the coordinating conjunction (unless the two independent clauses are very short)"

https://writing.wisc.edu/handb...mmarpunct/coordconj/

Last edited by des3
Original Post
des3 posted:

Hi, Des3—You are right that the "or"-clause is not an independent clause. However, "or" has other functions besides that of introducing an independent clause. One of them is to introduce a semantically equivalent expression.

That is how "or" is being used here: "what the framers may be supposed to have taken for granted or (to have) understood" is being roughly equated with "what must be taken to have been within their knowledge."

When "or" is used in this way, it is often (but by no means always) preceded by a comma. Here that comma is especially desirable, since it differentiates that "or" from the first one, which has a different function.

Thanks for the reply.

- Would that be similar to this example:   https://ibb.co/DDzXjc5

- Just for clarification, are you able to provide an example of a sentence where a comma should be always be omitted before the coordinating conjunction "or"

- And would this anomaly also apply to the coordinating conjunction "and" in similar circumstances?

Cheers

 

Last edited by des3
des3 posted:

- Would that be similar to this example:   https://ibb.co/DDzXjc5

No, "or some other type of" tells you that what follows or is NOT an equivalent expression. We use "other" for things that are other, i.e., not the same.

des3 posted:
- Just for clarification, are you able to provide an example of a sentence where a comma should be always be omitted before the coordinating conjunction "or"

Well, it would be very unusual to use a comma before "or" as a coordinating conjunction in a sentence like "Stay or go," in which each independent clause consists of a single word.

des3 posted:

- And would this anomaly also apply to the coordinating conjunction "and" in similar circumstances?

It isn't very anomalous, but yes. Consider the compound sentence "Stop and think." It would be silly to separate the independent clauses with a comma.

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