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Transcript of Comma Rules
and Elaine Salzbach Most misused form of punctuation in college writing Basic function: to separate parts of sentences Accurately guides the reader through the sentence Rule 1: Use Commas After Introductory Words, Phrases, and Clauses. The comma separates the introductory part of the sentence and the main idea For example: The wind blowing violently, the townspeople began to seek shelter Most of the evidence seemed convincing. Still, the credibility of some witnesses was in question Rule 2: Use Commas to Set Apart Non-essential Words, Phrases, and Clauses Commas separate main idea and non-essential information when it interrupts the main idea For example: Oranges, which I eat daily, have lots of vitamin C Recycled paper, made from newspapers and books, helps save the forest Rule 3: Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction joining independent clauses When two independent clauses are connected with only a coordinating conjunction, a comma needs to be placed before that conjunction for the sentence to be punctuated correctly Seven coordinating conjunctions can be remembered by the acronym
FANBOYS. Who remembers what FANBOYS
stands for? For
So For example: The class was over, but Professor Samtani's students still wanted to learn The department sponsored a seminar on college survival skills, and it also hosted a barbecue for new students There is an exception to the rule! If the two independent clauses are short and there is no danger of misreading, the comma may be omitted
The plane took off and we were on our way For example: The crowd was large and refused to leave Rule 4: Use a comma between all items in a series. When three or more items are presented in a series those items should be separated from one another with commas. Items in a series may be single words, phrases, or clauses For example: Bubbles of air, leaves, ferns, bits of wood, and insects are often found trapped in amber David willed his oldest niece all of his property, houses, and warehouses Rule 5: Use Commas in Dates In dates, the year is set off from the rest of the sentence with a pair of commas For example: On December 12, 1890, orders were sent out for the arrest of Sitting Bull October 12, 2012, was the worst day of my life Exceptions: Commas are not necessary if the date is inverted or if only the month and year are given For example: The security alert system went into effect on 15 April 2009 January 2008 was an extremely cold month Rule 6: Use a comma to prevent confusion In certain situations, a comma is necessary to prevent confusion. If the writer has intentionally left out a word or phrase, for example, a comma may be needed to signal the omission For example: Without comma: With comma: The End! Advice: Use punctuation correctly, they can save lives. Before leaving the soldiers demolished the fort Before leaving, the soldiers demolished the fort