Unnecessary Commas Eric Meyer and Libby Millsap
A comma does not separate a subject and its verb and its object • Although speakers often pause after the subject or before the object of a sentence, such a pause should not be reflected by a comma.
Commas do not follow coordinating conjunctions, and they immediately precede them only when the conjunctions link independent clauses. • It is incorrect to use a comma after a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, nor, or, so, or yet). Writers also sometimes put an unnecessary comma before a coordinating conjunction that does not link independent clauses.
Commas set off words and short phrases only if they are clearly parenthetical. • Parenthetical words and phrases are those that are nonessential-such as asides or interpolations.
Commas do not set off restrictive (essential) clauses, phrases, or appositives. • A restrictive clause, phrase, or appositive is essential to the meaning of the sentence.
A comma does not precede the first item of a series or follow the last (including the last of a series or coordinate adjectives). Example: she was supposed to eat lots of green vegetables, such as, broccoli, peas, and green beans. [No comma is needed before the first noun of the series (broccoli).] , , ,