10 Comma Uses


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!

  1. Separating the subject and the predicate.

Example: Getting to school, can be difficult.

  1. Separating a verb and its object.

Example: Timothy is reading, the newspaper.

  1. Putting a comma in a compound subject or predicate with 2 items.

Example: Tim, and Steve went to the store, and ate hotdogs.

  1. Use one comma to set off an interrupter: Alice, the girl from my math class is going to the dance.

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