Comma Rules

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Why do we use commas?

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Why do we use commas?

*to make our writing more clear *to avoid confusion

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Rule #1: Commas in Compound Sentences

Use a comma before a conjunction that joins independent clauses (2 complete thoughts)

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What are the FANBOYS conjunctions?

<p>for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so</p>

for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so

<p>for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so</p>
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Most people know Thomas Edison for his creation of the light bulb , BUT he also developed many communication devices.

commas in compound sentences

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Rule #2: Commas with Items in a Series Ex. My favorite candies are Reese's, Snickers, and Twix.

Use a comma when LISTING items in a series (be sure to include the Oxford comma- before AND)

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My favorite meals are sushi, chicken parmesan, and stir fry.

commas with items in a series (list)

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Rule #3: Commas when Listing Adjectives

Use commas between two or more describing words of equal rank that modify the same noun.

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Inventors are creative , practical people.

commas with items in a series (adjectives)

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Rule #4: Commas with Introductory Words or Phrases

Use a comma after a word or phrase that starts off the sentence (to separate it from the rest of the sentence)

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In retrospect, I wish I had taken my time on my homework.

commas with introductory words or phrases

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For instance, Additionally, Therefore, While he was at the store, Before you come over,

introductory words/phrases

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Rule #5: Commas with Interrupters

Use commas to set off words or phrases that break the flow of thought in a sentence.

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The class, all at once, screamed out the correct answer.

commas with interrupters

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Rule #6: Commas with Nouns of Direct Address

Use commas when speaking directly to a person/group.

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Tell me, Joseph, why you think that is the correct answer?

commas with nouns of direct address

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Rule #7: Commas with Appositives

Use commas when the description adds extra information; do not use commas when the description is needed to make the meaning clear.

*adds more information about the subject of the sentence

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Ms. Elinoff, your English teacher, loves teaching her students.

commas with appositives

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Rule #8: Commas to Avoid Confusion

Use a comma to help the reader understand the sentence/ clarify its meaning.

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Unclear version: Let's eat Grandma. Clear version: Let's eat, Grandma

commas to avoid confusion

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