A gathering place for readers, writers, and other advocates for a more just world

The six rules listed below will eliminate nearly 98% of all your comma errors!

Why is this knowledge for adults only? Only because young people are supposed to learn all the rules for comma usage. As adults we don’t need to memorize all those terms, we just need to know how to write so our readers understand our intent. That’s why punctuation, especially the common comma, is not only necessary but a thing of beauty.  Knowing what to call the part of speech (when you won’t be tested on it) is virtually useless; instead, pay close attention to the examples following each rule.

Place a comma after each introductory word, phrase, or clause.

  1. Finally, he got in his car and drove away.
  2. Under the new government, every citizen over 21 is allowed to vote.
  3. Once the parking tickets have been paid, you’ll get your license back.

Place a comma on each side of a nonessential element.

  1. My brother, who is younger than I am by five years, likes to work puzzles.

Place a comma before the coordinating conjunction when you combine two independent clauses into a single sentence.

  1. Her mother holds a doctorate from MIT, and her father teaches at Purdue.

Place a comma after but not before a dependent clause.

  1. When the fire alarm sounded, the children paraded out of the school building.
  2. The children paraded out of the school building when the fire alarm sounded.

Place a comma between items in a series.

  1. When you come over tonight, bring your sleeping bag, your pillow, and a few bags of popcorn.

Use a comma to separate a direct quote from a signal phrase such as “he said” or “she replied.”

  1. “I think you’d better put your hat back on,” she said laughing.

Now for your quiz: Which is correct?

Our friend the panda (immortalized in Lynne Truss’ book) eats, shoots, and leaves.
(OR) A panda eats shoots and leaves.

Rules retrieved on 10-9-2008 (but no longer available) at http://owlet.letu.edu/grammarlinks/punctuation/punct1.html

Advertisements

Comments on: "Commas – A lesson for adults only" (1)

  1. A few of the reasons that adults find the motivation to go back to college are detailed below.
    Spice up your romantic life with these sexy Android apps.
    Even if in your divine wisdom you cannot see anything good coming out of the choices your adult child
    is making, they are not your decisions to make.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: