Comma, If there is a pause, a comma is needed. Commas help clarify meaning.
Between Items in a Series (3 or more items in a row): • I know someone who likes pepperoni, pineapple, and olives on her pizza. • I like to listen to music, play video games, and play basketball.
In Dates and Addresses: • We are having a family reunion on July 4, 2007. (Note: no day = no comma – for example, July 2007) • Ms. Lana moved from New York to Chesapeake, Virginia. (Notice that no city + state = no comma)
To set off interruptions • (set off a word, phrase or clause that interrupts the main thought in a sentence with commas in front and behind. Conjunctive adverbs - however, therefore, consequently, afterwards, also - require a semi-colon in front and a comma behind): • All the singers in the group formerly known as Destiny’s Child are talented; however, Beyonce outshines her former partners. • The success of “Irreplaceable” on her latest album, for example, shows that Beyonce is just as popular as a solo act.
To set off dialogue • (when the speaker tag is ahead of the dialogue, the comma is placed before the quotation mark. When the speaker tag is after the dialogue, the comma is placed inside the quotation mark): • The stranded frog replied, “I’m just waiting for the toad truck.” • “I’m just waiting for the toad truck,” the stranded toad replied. • (No comma is needed when reporting rather than repeating what a speaker said: The stranded frog said he was just waiting for the toad truck.)
In Direct Address (the person being spoken to in the sentence): • Please, Carla,come up with some new jokes.
Between two Independent Clauses • (two clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence – add a comma AND a coordinating conjunction - such as for, and, nor, but, or, yet, & so. Remember - FANBOYS): • My nephew did not pay attention during the review, so he did not score well on the test.
To separate adjectives that equally modify a noun • (if you can switch the order of the adjectives or place “and” between them and the sentence still makes sense, the adjectives are equally modifying the noun): • The cold, salty water foamed as the waves broke against the shore.
To set off appositives • (unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence – an appositive re-names or describes the noun or pronoun before it): • My grandmother, a great cook,makes the best marinara in town.
To set off introductory phrases and clauses • (place a comma after long phrases or clauses that come before the main part of the sentence): • After checking my kneepads,I jumped on my skateboard. (“I jumped on my skateboard” is the main part of the sentence –“I” is the subject – “after checking my kneepads” is introductory information.) • If you practice often,skateboarding is easy.
To set off question at end • You are going, aren’t you?
After a salutation in a friendly letter and after the closing • Dear Aunt Faye, • Brian, • Sincerely, • Love always, • God Bless, • Your truly,
Add COMMAS • Oil which is lighter than water rises to the surface. • Nice is a word with many meanings and some of them are contradictory. • After surviving this ordeal the trapper felt relieved. • December 7 1941 will never be forgotten. • The field was safe enough wasn't it? • He replied "I have no idea what you mean.“ • Running around the house the dog was abruptly stopped by a fence.
Add COMMAS 8. The problems involved in this operation are I think numerous. 9. Yes Helen did mention that all three of you were coming for lunch. 10. I believe therefore that fraternities are good influences on a college campus.
Answers • Oil ,which is lighter than water,rises to the surface. • Nice is a word with many meanings, and some of them are contradictory. • After surviving this ordeal, the trapper felt relieved. • December 7, 1941 will never be forgotten. • The field was safe enough,wasn't it? • He replied, "I have no idea what you mean.“ • Running around the house, the dog was abruptly stopped by a fence.
Answers 8. The problems involved in this operation are ,I think,numerous. 9. Yes, Helen, did mention that all three of you were coming for lunch. 10. I believe; therefore, that fraternities are good influences on a college campus.