Commas are an area we need to look at, They are easy to use but sometimes we either use them too much, in the wrong place or not at all.
First big comma question asked by everyone: Can I use a comma “‘,” before “and”?
Answer: YES, if it is in a series (it is called a serial comma) of three or more things. for example: “He ate apples, cheese, and grapes” = OK. Or, “Cars, trucks, and motorcycles filled the streets.” = OK.
Second big comma question asked by everyone: Do I have to use a comma “,” before “and”?
Answer: Yes, just do it. Trust me.
THREE BASIC COMMA RULES
1. Use commas to separate items in a series of three or more (as mentioned above).
- Subjects in the program of study include English, math, and psychology.
- Go up two flights of stairs, turn right, walk to the end of the hall, and you will be there.
Place the commas –> The receptionist will admit you the radiologist will x-ray you the nurse will prepare you for surgery and the surgeon will operate.
Note: The final comma in the list is optional. However, be
consistent: either use it routinely or don’t use it at all.
2. Use a comma to separate independent clauses (complete thoughts) when they are joined by conjunctions –> and – nor – for – or – so – but – yet.
- Max started writing the draft two weeks ago, and he completed it today.
- We wanted to go to the movie ,yet the idea of a quiet afternoon at home was also appealing.
- Jim’s car broke down, so he was late for work again.
Place the commas –> I have no intention of celebrating when I complete my degree nor do I intend to go to the graduation.
3. Use comma(s) to separate from the rest of the sentence any word or expression that is not essential to the sentence’s meaning and grammatical correctness. Often these are dependent clauses. Experiment by saying the sentence without them (bold ones below). If it still makes sense, than that part needs commas on one or both ends
- As a young student, Anne had often dreamed of being an Olympic sprinter
- Carol Shields, a university chancellor, wrote The Stone Diaries and Larry’s Party.
- Valerie, predictably, was named class valedictorian.
- Little Sarah, wishing secretly for a new pony, blew out her birthday candles.
- Having just finished the marathon, Ron was in serious need of some Gatorade.
Place the commas –> Chris for some weird reason started throwing all of his money out the car window.
We will be dealing with this following comma exercise in class. Download and complete this document —->COMMAS!. You need to complete it, print it, and have it TOMORROW (Thursday 9/26).