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Comma Usage

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by Spokane Community College SCC on 26 August 2014

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Transcript of Comma Usage

Comma Usage
Definition:
The comma is a mark of punctuation used for indicating a division in a sentence, as in setting off a word, phrase, or clause, especially when such a division is accompanied by a slight pause.
When to use commas:
1.
To separate independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions (
FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
)

Ex: She had worked all day
,

but
there was still more work to be done.
Ex: Mitch loves coffee
,

so
he goes to Starbucks every morning.
When to use commas:
2.
Use commas between items in series.
Ex: The girl collected rocks
,
coins
,

and
stamps.
Ex: Mrs. Alexander handed out pencils
,
paper
,

and
glue.
GOAL!
When not to use commas:
1.

Don't
use a comma if the independent clause is jointed by because, when, if, until, or any other independent word. Don't confuse these words with FANBOYS.
Thank you!
When to use commas:
3.
Use commas between
coordinate adjectives
(adjectives that modify equally)
not joined by
and
that precede a noun.
Ex: Last night I saw a scary
,
violent movie.
Ex: Cindy was an independent
,
confident
,
talented woman.
When to use commas:
4.
Generally, use a comma to
separate an introductory verbal phrase
or an dependent clause.
Ex: After the Halloween dance
,
Estelle walked Raul home.

5.
Use a comma on both sides of a common word group that interrupts the sentence.
Ex: Eleanor
,
the daughter of the duke
,
was always late.
Ex: The dog
,
however
,
appeared to be fine.
When to use commas:
6.
Use a comma to set off quoted elements
Ex: According to the article
,
Smith states
,
"The environment is still very much a cause for concern."

7.
Use a comma to avoid confusion
Ex: For most the year has just begun. (incorrect)
For most
,
the year has just begun. (
correct
)

Ex: Suddenly he felt lost and afraid. (incorrect)
Suddenly
,
he felt lost and afraid. (
correct
)


2.
Don't
overuse commas. Try not use a comma unless it can be applied to a specific rule.

3.
Don't
ever use only comma between a subject and its verb.

4.
Don't
use a comma to separate two independent clauses (comma splice). Instead of a comma, use a period, semicolon, or a coordinating conjunction. A comma by itself is not enough punctuation to joint two sentences.
YouTube Links:
Online Resources:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/01/
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/3/5/
Examples:
Jane Austen created the character of Anne Elliot, she also created Elizabeth Bennet. (incorrect)
1. Jane Austen created the character of Anne Elliot
.
She also created Elizabeth Bennet. (
correct
)
2. Jane Austen created the character of Anne Elliot
;
she also created Elizabeth Bennet. (
correct
)
3. Jane Austen created the character of Anne Elliot
,

and
she also created Elizabeth Bennet. (
correct
)
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