Chapter Eight Comma English Brushup, 3E John Langan
USE COMMAS • To separate items in a series. • To set off introductory material. • On both sides of words that interrupt the flow of thought in a sentence. • Between two complete thoughts connected by and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet. • To set off a direct quotation.
COMMAS Use a comma between items in a series: • Examples... • We have a vivid picture of the Civil War because almost every soldier sent letters, kept journals, or wrote memoirs. • Young boys managed to enlist in the military during the Civil War because in 1861 people did not have a driver’s license, a school transcript, or a student identification card to prove their age.
COMMAS Use a comma after introductory material: • Use a comma after an introductory word, an introductory phrase, or an introductory clause. • An example of an introductory word: • Unfortunately, many boys who were sixteen years old and younger fought as soldiers in the Civil War. • An introductory phrase: • After the war, an army statistician managed to do a study of the ages of the soldiers.
COMMAS Use a comma after introductory material: • An introductory clause: When the war actually broke out, Americans did not seem to realize that the dispute would be devastating.
Example… Because the drum beat told the soldiers how and when to maneuver, drummers were important. COMMA AFTER INTRODUCTION But: Drummers were important because the drum beat told the soldiers how and when to maneuver. NO COMMA BECAUSE NO INTRODUCTION COMMAS NOTE:If a dependent clause comes at the end of the sentence, there isNO NEEDfor a comma.
COMMAS Use commas around words interrupting the flow of thought. • Interrupting words are set off by commas. If you remove the words from the sentence and it still makes sense, the words are interrupters. Such nonessential information is set off by commas. • Examples: • Agriculture, especially the growing of cotton, was vital to the South’s economy. • Sometimes American civilians, who actually picnicked in the battle areas to watch the fighting, were trampled by retreating soldiers.
COMMAS Use a comma between complete thoughts connected by a joining word. • Examples: • Emotions ran so high that thousands of men rushed to enlist, and young boys were caught up in this movement. • The drum beat was needed to give directions to the men in the Civil War, but the bugle began to take over this role because it was easier to hear.
SPECIAL NOTE • There are two distinct uses of the word however with the comma. • When the word however is used as an interrupter, it requires the comma. • Example: The approval of the parents, however, was rare. • When the word however is used between two complete thoughts, both the semicolon and the comma are needed. • Example: The military easily decided on a uniform color and design; however, producing the uniforms for an entire army was more difficult.
Use a Comma with Direct Quotations • Example: • The students complained, “Reading about these boys in the war is very depressing.”
Practice Review Exercises • Lacrosse __ a game played by two competing teams __ is a sport which involves a ball and a special netted stick. , , • The game was originally played by the Native Americans as a training for war __ and was adopted by the French-Canadians. (No comma)
Practice Review Exercises • The French players called the netted stick la crosse __ because it resembled a bishop’s cross. (No comma) , • Today __ lacrosse players use a stick that has a wooden __ graphite __ or metal handle. , ,
Practice ReviewExercises • Of course, the goalkeeper uses a crosse __ but he may defend the goal with his hands and body as well. , • If teams are tied at the end of sixty minutes ____ they play sudden-death overtime periods. ,
Practice Review Exercises • The game may seem chaotic ___ however ___ there are rules that must be followed. ; , , , • Long throws ___ although allowed ___ are usually not attempted.
Practice Review Exercises • If the ball is thrown out of bounds ___ an opposing player is given a free throw. , , , • The women’s game ___ however___ varies slightly from the men’s game