Use #1: Combine two strong clauses joined with a coordinating conjunction.
Example: School is still in session for another nine weeks, so you better try to learn all you can.
Use #2: Separate items in a series.
Example: We are going waterskiing, swimming, and snorkeling.
Use #3: Set off introductory phrases or clauses.
Example: To raise enough money in time, Mary sold all of her personal belongings.
Use #4: Set off one or more words that interrupt the flow of thought in a sentence.
Example: Justin, who lives down the street from me, is going to be at the party also.
Use #5: Separate two or more adjectives that modify the same noun, if you can substitute the word and for the comma.
Example: She is a beautiful, intelligent girl.
Use #6: Separate two clauses if a dependent marker is used to start the sentence.
Example: If you want to get good grades, you need to do your homework.
Use #7: Set off direct quotes.
Example: Kevin said, “I’m fin to steal off you!”
Use #8: Set off introductory words.
Example: In conclusion, the 2016 Olympics should be held in Chicago.
Use #9: Set off years in full dates, titles in names, and regions.
Example: January 2 nd , 1996, Bill Clinton, President of the U.S.A., paid a visit to Chicago, Illinois.
Use #10: Set off names in direct address.
Example: Would you please be quiet, Lupe?
Comma Misuses: Don’t Use Commas Like this!
- Separating the subject and the predicate.
Example: Getting to school, can be difficult.
- Separating a verb and its object.
Example: Timothy is reading, the newspaper.
- Putting a comma in a compound subject or predicate with 2 items.
Example: Tim, and Steve went to the store, and ate hotdogs.
- Use one comma to set off an interrupter: Alice, the girl from my math class is going to the dance.