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Capitalization and Commas

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Erica Meunier

on 24 June 2013

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Transcript of Capitalization and Commas

Should I use a comma?
Should I not use a comma?
Should I use 2 commas?
Come with me! I'll show you the way!
Comma Usage
Coordinating Conjunctions (FANBOYS)
For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So
Introductory Elements
Words that are not part of the subject but are still placed at the beginning of the sentence
Adjective Clauses
Group of words used together to describe a person, place, or thing.
Adverb Clauses
Group of words that contains a subject and a verb, but is not a complete sentence. It begins with a subordinating conjunction:
Noun or pronoun that renames another noun or pronoun. It typically appears right after the noun.
Word that describes a noun or pronoun. It usually appears before the word described.
Connects 2 Sentences with a Comma
and a Coordinating Conjunction
"The band is playing too loudly, and wearing obnoxious clothes."
"When I was sixteen, I was given a boat."
Use a comma when it does not contain information to help identify the person, place, or thing.
"We need a photocopier that will not break."
"Susan, who studied French in college, is the physics professor."
Common Subordinating Conjunctions

after, although, as, because, before, even, if, in order to, once, that, though, until, when, where, wherever, whether, which, while, who, whoever, why
Use a comma after an adverb clause that comes at the beginning of a sentence, but (usually) not before an adverb clause.
"I incorrectly want to use a comma, because I sense a pause in the sentence."
(Exception: use a comma before an adverb at the end of a sentence when it provides a strong sense of contrast.)
Appositives are frequently (but not always) set off by commas.
Do not set off with a comma if the appositive is essential for identification.
"My friend, Jewel, needs a ride."
"My dog, Pearl, is a husky."
1. Use a comma to separate adjectives of the same category: determiner (a, an, the), general (big, attractive), age (old, immature), color, origin/location
2. Use a comma between adjectives that can be moved around.
"the huge, wretched beast"
" a shiny, Chinese coin"
Quick Quiz!
1. I want to read the classics
but I have a short attention span.

2. However
the boat sank after only one week.

3. I saw a man
whom I once dated.

4. I must leave
before the party ends.

5. You need to read the book
The Color Purple.

6. I was intrigued by the strange
mysterious sight.
6 Easy Steps
Always capitalize proper nouns!
proper noun - specific person, place or thing
Names and initials are always capitalized

Parts of foreign names follow the conventions of the native country. (Do not capitalize articles like al-, de, du, la, van, von, etc.)

Capitalize titles that precede a name

Capitalize if a person's title is used when speaking directly to (not about) that person.

Capitalize names of groups of people
North, South, East, and West when describing a region or culture

Names of specific countries, cities, streets, buildings, rivers, lakes, mountains, oceans, etc.
Capitalize the complete names of organizations

EXCEPTION: Do not capitalize cultural movements (example: baroque art)

EXCEPTION TO THE EXCEPTION: Capitalize cultural movements derived from proper nouns (example: Victorian)
Other Uses
Beginnings of sentences

everything except articles, prepositions, conjunctions & the "to" of infinitives
Always capitalize the first and last word.

First word of a direct quotation sentence (not a fragment)

First word of each poetry line

Dates and times


First word of opening and closing salutations
Should I use a comma?
Should I not use a comma?
Two commas?
Quick Quiz!
1. Please call your mom at 4:00 p.m.

2. Marie Curie, the famous Chemist, worked with her husband, Pierre.

3. "The only way to have a friend," said Emerson, "Is to be one."

4. I do better in Social Studies than in German or Math.

5. 10:25 a.m., july 4th, a.d. 2013

6. He lives in the pacific northwest.
Who, Whom, Whose, Which, That
Full transcript