, A comma is generally used to separate words or groups of words so that the meaning of a sentence is clear.
Commas! Rule One: Use commas to separate items in a series. "He ate pancakes, bacon, and grits.” Words, phrases, and clauses in a series are usually separated by commas to show the reader where one item in the series ends and the next item begins. .
Words in a Series Always stop, look, and listen before crossing railroad tracks. In the early morning, the lake looked cold, gray, and calm.
Phrases in a Series We found seaweed in the water, on the sand, under the rocks, and even in our shoes. Clearing the table, washing the dishes, and putting everything away took almost an hour.
Clauses in a Series We didn't know where we were going, how we would get there or when we would arrive. The lights dimmed, the curtain rose, and the orchestra began to play.
Your Turn! Rewrite each of the following sentences, inserting commas where they are needed. 1. Carlos and Anna and I made a piñata filled it with small toys and hung it from a large tree. 2. We know what we will write about where we will find sources and how we will organize our reports.
Rule 2: Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS) when it joins independent clauses in a compound sentence. "He ate, but he was sleepy later."
Your Turn! For Each of the following sentences, write the two words that should be separated by a comma, and add the comma. If a sentence is already correct, write C. 1. Human beings must study to become architects yet some animals build amazing structures by instinct. 2. Then he gathers twigs and arranges them in a three-foot-wide circle around the display. 3. The female European water spider builds a waterproof nest under water and she stocks the nest with air bubbles. 4. The male gardener bower bird builds a complex structure and carefully decorates it to attract a mate.
Practice! Place the commas where you think they go. 1. Monday Tuesday and Wednesday it rained. 2.The game was over but the crowd refused to leave. 3.She was a good chef so she got the job. 4.Pens pencils markers and paper are needed today.