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Comma Rules

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by

Angelina Valvona

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of Comma Rules

Comma Rules
Comma Rule #1 (Series Rule)
To avoid confusion,
use commas to separate words and word groups with a series of three or more
.

Example:
My $10 million estate is to be split among my husband, daughter, son, and nephew.
(Omitting the comma after son would indicate that the son and nephew would have to split one-third of the estate.)

Comma Rule #2 (Adjectives Rule)
Use a comma to
separate two adjectives
when the word "and" can be inserted between them.

Examples:
He is a strong, healthy man.
We stayed at an expensive summer resort.
(You would not say expensive and summer resort, so no comma.)

Comma Rule #3 (Directly Talking To Rule)
Use commas
before or surrounding the name or title of a person directly addressed
.

Examples:
Will you, Aisha, do that assignment for me?
Yes, Doctor, I will.
NOTE: Capitalize a title when directly addressing someone.

Comma Rule #4a and 4b (Date Rule)
Rule 4a
Use a comma to
separate the day of the month from the year

and after the year
.

Example:
Kathleen met her husband on December 5, 2003, in Mill Valley, California.

Rule 4b
If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma.

Example:
They met in December 2003 in Mill Valley.

Conclusion
That's All Folks
Comma Rule #5 (City, State Rule)
Use a comma to
separate the city from the state
and after the state
in a document.

Examples:
I lived in San Francisco, California, for 20 years.


Comma Rule #6 (Interrupting Expression Rule)
Use commas to
set off expressions that interrupt sentence flow
.

Example:
I am, as you have probably noticed, very nervous about this.

Comma Rule #7 (Prepositional Phrase Rule)
Use a comma
after a prepositional phrase
.

Examples:
To apply for this job, you must have previous experience.
On February 14, many couples give each other candy or flowers.

Comma Rule #8 (Nonessential Rule)
If
something or someone is sufficiently identified, the description following it is considered nonessential
and should be surrounded by commas.

Examples:
Freddy, who has a limp, was in an auto accident.
(Freddy is named, so the description is not essential.)
The boy who has a limp was in an auto accident.
(We do not know which boy is being referred to without further description; therefore, no commas are used.)

Comma Rule #9 (FANBOYS Rule)
Use a comma to
separate two strong clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction
--
for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
.

Examples:
I have painted the entire house, but he is still working on sanding the doors.
I paint and he writes.

Comma Rule #10 (Direct Quotations Rule)
Use commas to
introduce or interrupt direct quotations

shorter than three lines.

Examples:
He actually said, "I do not care."
"Why," I asked, "do you always forget to do it?"

Comma Rule #11 (Statement/Question Rule)
Use a comma to
separate a statement from a question
.

Example:
I can go, can't I?

Comma Rule #12 (Contrasting Parts Rule)
Use a comma to
separate contrasting parts
of a sentence.

Example:
That is my money, not yours.

Comma Rule #13 (Introductory Word Rule)
Rule 13
Use a comma when
beginning sentences with introductory words
such as well, now, or yes.
Examples:
Yes,
I do need that report.
Well,
I never thought I'd live to see the day…

Comma Rule #14 (Introductory Words as Interrupters Rule)
Rule 14
Use commas surrounding words such as
therefore
and
however
when they are used as
interrupters
.
Examples:
I would
, therefore,
like a response.
I would be happy
, however,
to volunteer for the Red Cross.

Comma Rule #15 (Introductory Words with a Series Rule)
Rule 15
Use either a
comma or a semicolon before introductory words
such as namely, that is, i.e., for example, e.g., or for instance
when they are followed by a series of items.

Use a comma after the introductory word.
Examples:
You may be required to bring many items
, e.g.,
sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing.
OR
You may be required to bring many items
; e.g.,
sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing.
NOTE: i.e. means that is; e.g. means for example

www.grammarbook.com
Examples of introductory words: after, although, as, because, before since, , if, though, until, when
Rule #16 Dependent Clause Rule
Rule #17 Mild Interjection Rule
Commas set off
mild interjections that begin a sentence
.

Examples:
Oh my gosh, I didn’t know that he had dropped out of the program.
Yikes, why did you do that?

When using a dependent clause, a
comma should separate the dependent clause from the independent clause

only if the dependent clause is placed at the beginning or middle of the sentence
.

Example of introductory clause (comma needed):
Once you retake a course you have previously failed
, the new passing grade will replace the failing grade.

Example of ending clause (no comma needed):
The new passing grade will replace the failing one
once you retake a course you have previously failed
.
**Note that many dependent clauses will use the words if, because, since, once, as, in order to.
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