What Are the 8 Comma Rules

The first comma rule allows you to use commas between words or sentences in a row. Rule: Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, yes, or for) when it joins two complete ideas (independent sentences). Use a comma when referring to a day of the week and a date. When someone speaks or is quoted, there must be a comma before or after the speech. Depending on the order of the sentence, the comma can be inside or outside the quotation marks. Note: Do not use a comma if the order is reversed (the independent clause precedes the dependent clause), unless there is extreme contrast. A dependent clause provides additional information about the stand-alone clause and establishes the relationship between that information and the stand-alone clause. The most common subordinate conjunctions are: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, since, thus, as, that, although, unless, when, where, if and during. 4. Use a comma to separate independent sentences when they are connected by one of these seven coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yes, so [FAN BOYS].

Dependent propositions contain a subject and a verb, but they are not complete sentences in themselves. They tend to add a bit of contextual spice to an otherwise bland statement. If your sentence adds a dependent sentence to its independent counterpart, the two are joined by a comma. When writing, it can be helpful to keep in mind situations where you don`t need a comma. Here are some ways commas are often misused. 6. Use a comma to put all geographical names, elements in dates (except month and day), addresses (except house number and name), and titles in names. 2.

Use a comma after words and transition phrases that start a sentence but on the other side, e.g. etc. A well-placed comma brings clarity to your sentences. A comma is a versatile punctuation mark, which is why it is often misused. The comma helps you separate words, sentences, and ideas in a sentence. It represents a small pause or pause. In the wrong example, there are no commas, making it difficult to read the list. After eggs and bacon, there should always be a comma. In American English, use a comma before closing a quotation mark. Rules for numbers: For numbers longer than four digits, use commas to separate numbers into groups of three, starting from the right. For four-digit numbers, a comma is optional.

Examples: Date rules: In dates, the year is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma. For example, the eight-point rule helps you separate a date when you write it down into sentences. You must put a comma after the year if it appears in the middle of a sentence. 5. Use a comma after a dependent sentence if it precedes the independent sentence. 1. Use a comma to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses written in a row. (A comma is required before the last « and ».) Independent sentences are fully formed ideas that could be autonomous as sentences. If they are bound by a conjunction (and, or, but, etc.), they need a comma. Rule: If a speaker names the person they are addressing in a sentence, that address to their audience is called a direct address. The direct address is indicated by the use of a comma or comma, depending on where in the sentence. The third comma rule helps you use commas to put direct address names, words in apposition, and words like « yes, » « no, » « hello, » « but, » and « good. » Sounds easy? It`s a bit more complicated than that.

The last comma in the series (the one after « eggs ») is called the Oxford comma or serial comma and is optional, depending on who you ask. If the participle clause comes after the main clause, put a comma before the participle clause. Commas are punctuation marks that usually indicate pauses in sentences. The hard thing about commas is that most people have a hard time knowing where to put commas in sentences. Some style guides, especially the Chicago Manual of Style, include this comma. But you`ll find others, like AP Style, that avoid this rule and omit the last comma. I was so confused about where to use the comma, but thanks to you, my problem was solved! If you are using an independent platform, you can decide for yourself whether you want to insert the serial comma. However, if you`re publishing in a professional setting, do a little research on the style guide your outlet follows. If you answer « yes » to one or more of these questions, the item in question is unimportant and must be surrounded by commas.

Here are some examples of sentences with non-essential elements: Rule: Use a comma to separate each element of a line; A series is a group of three or more elements that have the same function and form in a set. Rule: Use a comma after an introductory sentence or sentence. A comma tells the reader that the opening sentence or sentence is over and that the body of the sentence is about to begin. Rules for addresses: Elements of an address or place name are separated by commas. However, a postal code is not preceded by a comma. Examples: Commas are one of the most commonly used punctuation tools, but also one of the most abused in the author`s toolbox. You may encounter prose littered with lost commas, or you may encounter writers who simply omit punctuation and create extremely confusing sentences with no pauses in sight. Does this mean you always put a comma after a conjunction? No! Keep in mind that this rule applies when you merge two stand-alone or main clauses. As with addresses, the day, month, and year of a date must be interrupted by commas. One. Common starting words for introductory sentences that should be followed by a comma are after, though, because, because, if, since, when, during. In this case, the two stand-alone clauses could each be the subject of a separate sentence.

But because they are combined and connected by the word « and », they need a comma to separate them. Sometimes sentences have interruptions or small thoughts in the middle of the sentence. These interrupts must be followed by commas with a comma before and after the interruption. 13. Do not put a comma between the two verbs or verbs in a compound predicate. Using the serial comma is usually a matter of choice, unless you have to follow a defined style guide. Style guides that require the serial comma include the Oxford Style Manual, the Chicago Style Manual, and the MLA Style Manual. The AP Style Guide does not require a serial comma. You should also use it in situations where there is ambiguity, as in the example above.

Although you should use a comma if the dependent sentence is at the beginning of the sentence, you should not use a comma if it comes after the independent sentence. Rule: Use commas to include clauses that are not essential to the meaning of a sentence. These non-essential clauses are referred to as non-restrictive. The essential clauses are said to be restrictive. Restrictive and non-restrictive clauses may begin with a relative pronoun (e.g., who, who, who, that, which). A relative pronoun refers to the noun or pronoun that precedes it. You may have been taught to use a comma when the reader needs to pause or catch their breath, of course, but that`s just a guideline. Of course, grammar becomes more specific. There are, in fact, explicit grammar rules that govern the use of commas.

But these rules can vary from style guide to style guide, creating a more confusing mess, even for experienced writers. So we`re here to clarify some of the most useful rules to end the comma critical situation. Use a comma to start the dialogue. If you have a sentence like « she said » that identifies the speaker of the dialogue or quote, use a comma to separate the sentence from the quote. The expression called an attribution tag can appear after, before, or in the middle of the citation. Precede the conjunction with a comma when you combine two independent sentences with a conjunction. Conjunctions include and, but, and or. Common introductory sentences that should be followed by a comma are participle and infinitive phrases, absolute phrases, insignificant appositive sentences, and long prepositional sentences (more than four words). You use an introductory comma after a sentence, phrase, or word at the beginning of a sentence. This sentence is a dependent sentence that does not function as a complete whole. A comma occurs when you have a comma between two independent clauses without conjunction.

You can resolve this error by adding a conjunction, making each independent clause its own sentence, or replacing the comma with a semicolon. Examples of non-essential elements (enclosed by commas): Use a comma to separate the month and day of the year. Captivating writing often includes details to bring a sentence to life. If you can delete the sentence without changing its meaning, it is considered non-essential. These descriptive words or phrases must be protected by commas. Commas have many uses. It can be helpful to keep these eight rules in mind so that you can apply them correctly. 7. Use a comma to toggle between the main speech and a quote. Question labels are often used in sentences when the author tries to get readers to agree with the statement.