Help, I have no "Comma Sense"!
"Hooray for Bad Puns!"
Frequently Asked Questions
- When do I use commas?
- Why are there a bunch of puns?
- What do commas look like?
Rules for Using Commas
Rule No. 1: In a simple series, use a comma to separate the elements, but don’t put a comma before the conjunction.
Rule No. 2: Use a comma to separate two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction.
Rule No. 3: Use a comma following an introductory clause or prepositional phrase of four words or more.
Rule No. 4: Use commas to set off modifiers that are not essential to the reader's ability to identify a particular person, place or thing.
Rule No. 5: Use commas to separate adjectives of equal rank.
Rule No. 6: Use commas to set off words that add emphasis, shift attention or provide a fuller explanation (parenthetical, "yes," "no," names in direct address).
Rule No. 7: Use commas to set off participial modifiers that come at the beginning of a sentence or after the verb.
Rule No. 8: Use a comma, carefully, to set off quotes or paraphrases.
Rule No. 9: Use a comma with hometowns, ages, years with months and days, names of states and nations with cities, affiliations and most large numbers.
Rule No. 10: Use a comma to separate duplicate words to eliminate confusion.
Rule No. 11: Use a comma to separate independent and dependent clauses.
Commas in a Series:
- My $10 million estate was split between my husband, daughter, son, and nephew.
- The child had a collection consisting of toys, candy, and random socks.
- My project is quite astonishing, since it consists of many facts and is visually appealing.
- Above the house, there is a rather gargantuan hornets nest.
- I am quite talented with fabricating extensive sentences, and my fellow classmates are unable to comprehend its sophisticated structure.
- The cat is white, and the dog is brown. (Quite elementary, I concur.)