Writers put commas all over the place where they don’t belong. But they miss the one in a compound sentence more often than any other.
‘I am tired from today’s strenuous activities, and I want to go to sleep.’
If you take it down to the skeleton, the two complete sentences are: ‘I am. I want.’ A verb and a subject.
That’s all it takes to make a complete sentence. In fact, even if the subject is implied, you can have a complete sentence. The shortest in the English language being: “Go.”
Now you want to combine the two sentences into one: ‘I am, and I want.‘
There are cases where you get away without the comma; but putting the comma before the conjunction that pulls together two complete sentences is never wrong.
The exceptions are: If either sentence comprises six or fewer words, you don’t have to put a comma. That means: You are still allowed the comma!!! So, if you’re fond of commas, keep this occasion in mind, for it’s never wrong to put it in this place: I am, and I saw, and I conquered.
Now, go and conquer that comma. The next entries will be about where NOT to put commas.