Use a Comma and a Conjunction to Separate Two Independent Clauses

An independent clause is a clause that can be correctly punctuated as a complete sentence.

Fayard Nicholas of the dance team the Nicholas Brothers loved vaudeville and hung out in the theaters, watching all the acts and learning from them. When he was 11 years old, he decided to become an entertainer, so he created an act for himself and his brother and sister. They stayed up late rehearsing the act, and when their parents reminded them that it was a school night, Bayard told them, “We have something to show you.” Their parents watched the act, and then they looked at each other and said, “Hey, we have something here.” Their father had them audition for the manager of the Philadelphia’s Standard Theater, who quickly told him, “They’re booked for next week.” The Nicholas Brothers became a famous dance team in movies.

After making the movie Get Smart, Steve Carell, who plays Maxwell Smart, knew that his seven-year-old daughter and some of her friends wanted to see it. However, he warned her that seeing the movie might be embarrassing for her: “I had to prepare her for a scene where you see me with my trousers off. I said, ‘You’re going to go see this with your friends, and you’re going to see my naked butt. Are you going to get embarrassed? Because you don’t have to go.’” His daughter asked, “Is it funny?” Mr. Carell replied, “I think so.” And she made her decision: “Well, okay then.” Her decision made Mr. Carell, who values funny highly, happy.

Children do strange things sometimes. When he was a child, Will Hobbs, author of such young people’s novels as Beardance, bought a ticket to a movie, and then he stood in line. When the doors opened, the line moved forward, but when young Will reached the ticket-taker, he discovered that he had been chewing on his ticket, turning it into a spitball.

Mitzi Green was a child star at Paramount, and she became friends with Maxine Marx, the daughter of comedian Chico Marx. During a stay-over at Maxine’s house, Mitzi put a cream on her face. Maxine asked what the cream was, and Mitzi replied, “It’s a freckle remover.” “Does it work?” “It hasn’t yet, but I keep hoping.”

We think of Paul Muni as a serious actor who undertook serious roles, winning an Oscar as Best Actor for playing the lead role in The Story of Louis Pasteur, but he was also a master of the put-on. He was born in what is now the Ukraine, and when he was in his 30s, he became an American citizen by passing a test that asked questions about American history and politics. At the beginning of the test, he spoke with a heavy accent and looked puzzled by the questions he was being asked, but as the test continued he lost his accent and boldly answered the questions. When he answered the final question, he spoke with no accent at all, and then he told his examiner, “Your honor, it’s remarkable. Now that you’ve made me a citizen, I can speak perfectly!”

Judy Blume’s series of Fudge books have been amazingly popular. Elliott, her grandson, inspired one of the Fudge books. They were eating in a restaurant at Key West, and Elliott asked his grandmother to buy him some wearable art from a street vendor. She told him that she didn’t have any money, so he requested that she pay a visit to the nearest ATM machine. This inspired the book Double Fudge, in which Fudge becomes obsessed with money and with what money can buy.

Johnny Logan was batting for the Braves when umpire Al Barlick called a strike on him. Mr. Logan disagreed with the call, so he took his bat and used it to draw a line in the dirt a few inches inside, which was where he thought the ball had been. Umpire Barlick did not say a word, but he took the bat from him and used it to write in the dirt, “$50 fine.” Then he went back to umpiring.

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