When should you use commas? By Sherry Amster
Lets see what you know 1)A)She left Albany, New York, on January 18 of that year. B)She left Albany, New York on January 18, of that year. C)She left Albany New York, on January 18 of that year. 2) A)I need, sugar, butter, and eggs from the grocery store. B)I need sugar, butter, and eggs, from the grocery store. C) I need sugar, butter, and eggs from the grocery store. 3) A)Please Sasha, come home as soon as you can. B)Please, Sasha, come home as soon as you can. C)Please, Sasha come home as soon as you can. 4) A)I am typing a letter and she is talking, on the phone. B)I, am typing a letter and she, is talking on the phone. C)I am typing a letter and, she is talking on the phone.
Typographical Reasons • Between: • a city and state • a date and year • a name and a title when the title comes after the name • in long numbers (every 3 numbers)
Never use a comma between a subject and its verb. Just because you take a pause while reading it does not mean that you need to put a comma. EX: Believing completely and positively in oneself is essential for success. Although readers might pause after the word "oneself," there is no reason to put a comma there.
Use a comma to avoid confusion. • For most the year is already finished. • For most, the year is already finished.
Use commas to set off phrases that express contrast • Some say the world will end in ice, not fire. • It was her money, not her charm or personality, that first attracted him. • The puppies were cute, but very messy.
Use a comma to set off quoted elements • Summing up this argument, Peter writes, "The purpose and strength of the romantic image of the child had been above all to establish a relation between childhood and adult consciousness." • "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many things."
Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives • If you can put an and or a but between the adjectives, a comma will probably belong there.
Use a comma to set off parenthetical elements (details that you do not actually need) • "The Founders Bridge, which spans the Connecticut River, is falling down."
Use a comma to set off introductory elements • "Running toward third base, he suddenly realized how stupid he looked."
Use a comma + a little conjunction (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so) to connect two independent clauses. • "He hit the ball well, but he ran toward third base."
Choose the INCORRECT answer 1) A) Andre was grounded because, he came home after his curfew. B) Because he came home after his curfew, Andre was grounded. 2) A) Katie needs a wig tights, and a cape for her Purim costume. B) Katie needs a wig, tights, and a cape for her Purim costume. 3) A) My sister likes cake, my brother likes pie and, I like cookies. B) My sister likes cake, my brother likes pie, and I like cookies. 4) A) After the game the boys, all went to the mall. B) After the game, the boys all went to the mall. 5) A) What do you want for your birthday, Grace? B) What do you want, for your birthday Grace?