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Rant: Either "then" or a comma, not both.

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  • I was taught in school to always use a comma, whether "then" is used or not. If there are phrases between the "if" fragment and the "then" fragment, which are quite common, although they can make it hard for you to find where the phrase giving the consequences of the condition begins, then using both a comma and "then" adds clarity. Reread the previous sentence pretending that the "then" after the last comma isn't there, and I think you'll see what I mean. Even for simple sentences, there's no problem with
  • so do we have some authoritative source for this rule? or is it just chacham said so?

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf

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