One of the vital essential repeatedly used punctuation marks, an errant comma will also be the variation between a whole sentence and a whole mess. In this publish, we’ll uncover seven comma rules that may keep your writing concise and coherent.
Forward of we dive in, what’s a comma anyway? You’ll be capable to call to mind a comma as a lighter type of a period. While a period ends a sentence full-stop, a comma is a smaller, softer pause. It is going to separate words, clauses, or ideas within of 1 sentence.
1. Two complete sentences can highest be attached with a comma when the use of a coordinating conjunction.
A coordinating conjunction is a conjunction situated between words, phrases, clauses, or sentences of an identical rank. English has seven main coordinating conjunctions — for, and, nor, alternatively, or, however, so — that can be used to weave together two complete sentences with a comma. You’ll be capable to use the mnemonic FANBOYS to remember them.
Both one of the crucial above concepts are complete sentences. Then again, the lack of definitely certainly one of our FANBOYS after the comma results in a comma splice. The sentence is clunky without the presence of a coordinating conjunction to link the two complete concepts in one sentence.
This is additional love it! “So” is the coordinating conjunction that links the ones two complete sentences together. Every concepts would possibly stand alone separated thru a period, alternatively our FANBOYS allow us to link them together with the help of a comma. The Grateful Dead is your favorite band? It’s good that you just traveled so far to appear them.
2. Use a comma to link an incomplete sentence with a whole sentence.
An incomplete sentence doesn’t express a completely formed thought and can’t stand on its own. Then again, you’ll use a comma to link an incomplete sentence with a completely formed sentence that expounds upon and completes the concept that. For instance:
“Even if I had art work throughout the morning” is an incomplete sentence. Completing it with a period makes it proper right into a cliffhanger of an unfinished thought, alternatively a comma can save the day.
The use of a comma and the following complete sentence “I traveled 3,500 miles to appear the Grateful Dead in Copenhagen.” make this proper right into a grammatically proper sentence. Something tells me you didn’t make it to art work the next day to come, even though!
3. Use the Oxford comma.
The Oxford comma is a controversial topic in the world of punctuation. There’s great historic debate on whether or not or now not the Oxford comma is very important, alternatively we proper right here at HubSpot counsel the use of it for accuracy and clarity in your writing.
What’s the Oxford comma?
The Oxford comma is the overall comma in a list of things. For instance: I want a stapler, some rye bread, and a gallon of glue.
I don’t know what you must be making, alternatively that’s the proper use of an Oxford comma in a list of items. Proper right here’s some other example:
This sentence states that you just watched a documentary about 3 distinct and influential New Yorkers. The Oxford comma makes it clear that the ones are 3 different people. If we disregard the Oxford comma, problems can get slightly bit sophisticated:
With the exception of Babe Ruth lived a secret life of crime and thin-crust pizza, you’ll see how the absence of the Oxford comma in this sentence would possibly confuse readers. While each and every diversifications of the sentence are technically proper, we advise the Oxford comma to ensure your sentences are free of ambiguity.
4. Use a comma between two coordinate adjectives that describe the an identical noun.
Coordinate adjectives are two or additional adjectives that describe the an identical noun. In the event you occur to flip-flop your adjectives or pop an “and” in between them and the sentence nevertheless makes sense, then you definitely’ve got coordinate adjectives. In the event you occur to’re the use of coordinate adjectives, believe to separate them with a comma.
Psychedelic and spontaneous are coordinate adjectives on account of they together describe the noun, which is the song of the Grateful Dead. You’ll be capable to reverse the order or exchange the comma for an “and” and the sentence manner the an identical issue. We recommend the use of a comma.
It’s refined, alternatively the sentence doesn’t drift accurately with no comma between psychedelic and spontaneous.
5. Use a comma (or pair of commas) to separate non-essential wisdom in a sentence.
Even if we respect the guidelines, “in a quest for the very best rack of ribs” is non-essential to the principle stage of the sentence, which is that my sweetheart’s father spent means a great deal of on his grill. You’ll be capable to use a single comma with the non-essential wisdom to start with of the sentence, or a few commas to rope it off throughout the middle, alternatively don’t disregard your commas when together with extraneous part.
Without commas to separate the non-essential wisdom, the sentence is long-winded and grammatically mistaken. I’ll take a few commas with those ribs, please!
6. You’ll want to place commas accurately when the use of quotes.
Usually, you need to use a comma to introduce quotes or dialogue in a sentence.
The reason we wish a comma in this example is that the quoted matter subject material is syntactically impartial, that implies it stands except the encircling sentence. Don’t be rude! Introduce that mid-sentence quote with a comma.
Then again, as there frequently are throughout the English language, there are exceptions to this rule. If the quote blends into the encircling sentence, frequently with the use of a conjunction, you’ll disregard the comma.
No comma is very important in this example given that quote blends into the sentence with the use of the conjunction “that.”
7. Put a comma forward of “while” to difference two ideas.
If you are the use of “while” in a sentence to in reality indicate “although” or “whilst,” believe to place a comma forward of it to stick the that implies of your sentence clear.
The use of “while” in this sentence shall we in us to difference two BBQ ideologies.
Without the comma, the that implies of while technically changes to “similtaneously,” which doesn’t make sense in this context.
Additionally, if you are the use of “while” to start with of the sentence, you should place a comma at the end of the clause that it introduces.
The use of a comma after the clause that “while” introduces shall we in us to retain the that implies as “whilst” and difference the two ideas.