10 Basic Comma Rules

By Sydney Dial and Esther Reyes

The Basics

  1. Use commas to separate three or more words in a sentence.
  2. Use a comma after an introductory element.
  3. Use commas to set off transitional words or expressions.
  4. Use commas before and after words that may interrupt the flow of thought.
  5. Use commas in addresses and dates.
  6. Use commas when writing an informal letter after the opening and the closing.
  7. Use a comma with direct quotations.
  8. Use commas when addressing a person to set off a name.
  9. Use a comma with short expressions such as: well, yes, no, sure, and oh.
  10. Use a comma to join 2 sentences before the words and, but, for, so, yet, or nor. That's enough of that, now for the examples!


  1. I ate cookies, cake, candy, and cupcakes at the party.
  2. If my boss hadn't said yes, then I wouldn't be here with my new job.
  3. Next, I will eat cake.
  4. I went to my friend, Lucy's house, two night's ago.
  5. April 6th, 2004 (that's Esther's birthday).
  6. Dear Mr. President,
  7. Lulu said, "I like pie."
  8. "Terry, go run the washer and dryer for me please?"
  9. Well, I do not know what to do.
  10. I hate carrots, but, I like peas.

Bad Examples

We are the voice of Mr. Comma!

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