Comma Rules

Comma rules 1-12
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Comma Rule 1
ITEMS IN A SERIES
Use a comma to separate items in a series.
ex 1. Jones, Smith, and Jackson presented an interesting report. (words/names)
ex 2. The novel is available in print, on audio tape, and on video cassette. (phrases)
ex 3. The lawyer argued that the weather was bad, that the car had bad brakes, and that the other driver was speeding. (clauses)
Comma Rule 2
ADJECTIVES BEFORE A NOUN
Use a comma to separate two or more adjectives preceding a noun.
ex. The big, white, shaggy dog was sleeping.
Comma Rule 3
CONJUNCTIONS/COMPOUND SENTENCES
Use a comma before for, and, nor, but, or, & yet (FANBOYS)
ex. Pete went to the movies, but Joe went home.
Comma Rule 4
NONESSENTIAL CLAUSES
Use commas to set off nonessential clauses and phrases (elements embedded in the sentence that interrupt it without changing the essential meaning.)
ex. John Smith, who often skips school, should be expelled.
Comma Rule 5
INTRODUCTORY WORDS
Use a comma after words such as well, yes, no, why, oh, etc. when they begin a sentence.
ex. Yes, I think I can go.
Comma Rule 6
INTRODUCTORY ADJECTIVE PHRASE
Use a comma after an introductory adjective phrase.
ex 1. Terrified, the mouse ran behind the cupboard.
ex 2. Pausing for a moment, the girl turned and left.
Comma Rule 7
INTRODUCTORY PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES
Use a comma after a succession of introductory prepositional phrases.
ex 1. In the solitude of that snowy December night, we became good friends.
ex 2. At the end of the road on the west side of the train station, the elderly couple sold produce each summer.
Comma Rule 8
INTRODUCTORY DEPENDENT CLAUSES
Use a comma after an introductory dependent clause.
ex. Because he kept barking insistently, we throw the ball for Smokey.
***Clue: Introductory clases start with adverbs like - after, although, as, because, before, if, since, through, until, when, etc.
Comma Rule 9
RENAMERS
Use commas to set off appositives (a noun or pronoun - often with modifiers - set beside another noun or pronoun to explain or identify it.)
ex. Professor Jones, my history instructori, dismissed the class early.
Comma Rule 10
DIRECT ADDRESS
Use commas to set off names used in direct address.
ex. Joe, please hand me the newspaper.
Comma Rule 11
INTERRUPTER
Use commas to set off parenthetical expressions.
ex. The meeting was, in my opinion, very productive.
Comma Rule 12
DATES AND ADDRESSES
Use a comma to separate items in dates and addresses.
ex. The house at 100 West 67th Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21210 was sold on January 3, 2009.