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Commas are important!

Commas are important!

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Commas are important!

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  1. Commas are important! • A panda walks into a bar. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air. • "Why? Why are you behaving in this strange, un-panda-like fashion?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda walks towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder. • "I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up." • The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation. • "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

  2. They can cause confusion…(show photos) • Eat here and get gas! • Eat here, and get gas! • Slow children playing • Slow, children playing

  3. Commas When to Use Them!

  4. Independent Clause: Can stand by itself. Has a subject and a verb. Ask yourself: If I left out the other stuff, does the sentence still make sense? Dependent/Subordinate Clause: Has a subject and a verb, but it can’t stand on its own Phrases: Like a dependent clause, but it does not have both a subject and verb. Basic Jargon

  5. Examples – Identify Ind. And Dep. Clauses • While Alex was sleeping, the teacher was talking. • Christine went shopping because she needed new clothes. • Although I do not like ketchup, I like tomatoes.

  6. A Little More Jargon • Compound Sentence: Made up of two independent clauses. • Ex: Grace likes photography and Monica likes photography. • Complex Sentence: One independent clause, one dependent clause • Ex: When it started raining, Arthur came in from recess.

  7. Rule #1 • Use a comma after a dependent clause or word • Ex: However, I don’t like it • Ex: While Alex was sleeping, the teacher was talking • However, don’t put a comma after the independent clause when a dependent clause follows • Ex: She was late for class because her alarm broke.

  8. Rule #2 • Use a comma after a phrase • Ex: To win the girl, Alex sent her roses. • Ex: Having finished the test early, Claire left the room.

  9. Rule #3 • Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are dependent • Ask the question: If you left out the clause, phrase, or word does this sentence make sense? • This Tuesday, which happens to be my birthday, is the day I have a test • The food, on the other hand, is rather bland.

  10. Adjective Commas • Coordinate adjectives: Equal status in describing noun • Non-coordinate adjectives: Unequal status in describing the noun • Ask: does the sentence make sense if the adjectives are written in reverse order? • Ex: Annie was a difficult, stubborn child. (coordinate – needs comma) • Ex: Shahriar wore a pink wool sweater (non-coordinate)

  11. Story Time • Organize into groups of four. Everyone take out a piece of paper. Start writing a story beginning with the sentence “On a dark and stormy night…” Write for five minutes or so (try to get at least a paragraph) and in this time, use an independent clause and underline it. When I call time, pass the paper to the person to your left. They will pick up the story where you left off except this time they must include a complex sentence and underline the dependent clause. Write for five more minutes. You can make these as ridiculous as you want – get creativity points! • Pass the paper again to the person to the left. They will use a compound sentence. • Pass and use two adjectives separated by a comma