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Punctuation with the Comma

Date: Apr 01 2008

Topic: Grammar

Author: WhiteSmoke


How to Use the Comma in English

The comma is known as the “King of punctuation marks”. It has many uses that can be very confusing. But don’t worry, it’s enough to start with the basics when you are learning the language.

Before we give you the run down on the comma, it’s important to remember to use a period at the end of the sentences you write. Too many ESL learners do not use periods, or almost no punctuation marks at all! Pay attention to the periods used here for examples.

Comma Usages:

1. Separating main sentence elements

The period separates between sentences and the comma separates elements within the sentence, such as added remarks, clauses etc.

·        Use a comma before coordinating conjunctions (and, or, but, so) separating two independent clauses.

Ron went to the pool, and John preferred going to the beach.

·        Use a comma after introductory elements and added afterthoughts (words, phrases, or clauses) that are not essential parts of the sentence and refer to it as a whole.

Although the students were ready to leave, the teacher asked them to stay, I think…

2. Setting off parenthetical elements

·        Separate parenthetical elements that are inserted in the middle of sentences. These are usually either extra commentary, which digress temporarily from the main sentence.

The most popular singer, according to this magazine, is Celine Dion.

·        If the parenthetical element is a clause, use commas only when it is non-essential (non-restrictive) to the understanding the whole sentence.

The student who got the best grade, which is actually a second cousin of mine, is that new guy from Poland.

3. Separating elements in series

·        Use a comma to separate a list of equally important elements (words, phrases, or clauses). The last item is usually introduced by and or or, and it’s recommended to put a final comma before these words as well.

For making this cake, you need the following ingredients: flour, oil, eggs, sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, and walnuts.

4. Setting off Quotes

·        Use a comma to introduce a quote after the reporting verb (said, shouted, explained) and before the quotation marks. Put all other punctuation marks (except colons and semi-colons before the closing punctuation marks).

Madonna went up on stage and shouted, “Express yourselves!”

5. Commas with dates

·        When writing 3 date elements, separate two numbers written in digits or the day and date, written as words. Do not use the comma when using British style.

Yes: We met on December 25, 1989

Yes: We met on Wednesday, December 25.

No: We met on the 25th of December 1989.

We hope our suggestions will help you!

This article was contributed by WhiteSmoke, leader in English writing software



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for making this sweet, u need the following ingredient:

flour, suger, flavor and juice

01:16 PM Jul 10 2009 |

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