Why is a comma important?

Issuing time: 2022-06-24

A comma is important because it helps to break up a sentence and make it easier to read. It also helps to indicate a change in thought or direction. Without commas, the reader might not be sure where one sentence ends and the next begins.

What role does a comma play in writing?

A comma is used to separate two independent clauses in a sentence. It can also be used to indicate a pause or break in thought. Some writers omit commas when they are not necessary for clarity, but most use them routinely. Commas are also used to set off introductory words such as “However” and “But” and prepositional phrases such as “of which” and “in which.

How can you use a comma to improve your writing?

When you are writing a list, use commas to separate each item. For example:

6a The teacher read aloud from The Catcher in the Rye; some students yawned while others listened attentively b The teacher read aloud from The Catcher in the Rye; some students yawned while others listened attentively c Students were allowed to take notes or work on their laptops during class d Students were allowed to take notes or work on their laptops during class e There was no assigned reading for this unit f There was no assigned reading for this unit g This is not a sentence – it is just one word h This is not a sentence – it is just one word i A comma can be used after adjectives when they modify nouns A comma can be used after adjectives when they modify nouns j John wrote two essays last week; he plans on doing more this semester k John wrote two essays last week; he plans up doing more this semester l Mary wants her Christmas present early m Mary wants her Christmas present early n My sister got married last weekend o My sister got married last weekend p Sarah won first place in her division at state olympiad q Sarah won first place in her division at state Olympiad r Steve has three sisters s Steve has three sisters t These are five sentences u These are five sentences v Jane bought eggs yesterday w Jane bought eggs yesterday x I saw Susan walking down the street y I saw Susan walking down the street z Marcia came home late last night Add commas after articles (a, an), numbers (one, two), days of month (thursday, january), and weeks of month (september, october). Add commas after articles (a, an), numbers (one, two), days of month (thursday, january), and weeks of month (september, october). 1 I went to three places today-the store , bank , post office . 2 She ate apples bananas and cake . 3 He played soccer all day then worked out for an hour . 4 We traveled to Florida over winter break-staying in hotels every night . 5 There was candy as well as cake and ice cream available at the party .

  1. I went to the store, the bank, and the post office.
  2. She ate an apple, a banana, and a piece of cake.
  3. He played soccer all day; then he went to the gym for an hour.
  4. We went on vacation to Florida; we stayed in a hotel every night.
  5. They gave out candy at the party; there was also cake and ice cream available for purchase.

When should you use a comma?

A comma is used to separate items in a list. It can also be used to indicate a pause in thought or speech. For example, "I went to the store, then I came home.

Why do people often forget to use a comma?

People often forget to use a comma when they are writing because it can make a difference in the meaning of their sentence. For example, if someone says "I went to the store," without a comma, it could mean that they went once or multiple times. However, if they added a comma after "store," it would mean that they only went to the store once. This is an important detail to remember when writing because it can change the meaning of what someone is saying. Additionally, not using a comma can also lead to confusion. For example, if someone says "I saw John yesterday," and then later says "John came over yesterday," people might be confused about which John the speaker is talking about. If they had used a comma between "saw" and "John," people would know that the speaker is referring to John from earlier in the sentence. By not using commas, speakers run the risk of confusing their readers or listeners.

Is there ever a time when you shouldn't use a comma?

Yes, there is a time when you shouldn't use a comma. When the last item in a list is an adverb or preposition, it should not have a comma after it. For example: "I went to the store, bought some groceries and came home.

How can omitting or adding a single coma change the meaning of what you're saying?

Adding a comma to the end of every line can change the meaning of what you're saying. For example, if you are writing a list and omit the comma at the end of each line, it could mean that your list is incomplete. If you add a comma to the end of every line, it would indicate that your list is complete. Additionally, adding or omitting a comma can change how people read what you have written. For example, if someone reads an essay with no commas at the end of each sentence, they may think that there are no breaks in between paragraphs. However, if someone reads an essay with commas at the end of each sentence, they will know that there are breaks in between paragraphs. Consequently, this small change can have a big impact on how people read and understand what you have written.

Can commas be used for both clauses and items in a list?

Yes, commas can be used for both clauses and items in a list. However, there is one important rule to keep in mind when using commas with lists: always use a comma after the last item in the list. This is because lists are usually written in reverse order (the last item listed is the first item to be read), so putting a comma after the last item would cause confusion. For example, if you were writing "The cat sat on the mat," you would not use a comma after "the" because it would be read as "the cat sat on the mat, which sat." To write "The cat sat on the mat, The dog barked," you would use a comma after "The" and before "dog.

If there are two adjectives before a noun, do they always need to be separated by commas?

No, they do not always need to be separated by commas. However, if the adjectives are used as modifiers of the noun, then they should be separated by commas. For example: "The red car is beautiful," would be correct, but "The beautiful red car" would not be.

Should commas always go inside quotation marks?

Yes, commas always go inside quotation marks. This is a common rule in formal writing, and it's important to follow it to make your writing look accurate and professional. However, there are some cases where you may want to break this rule. For example, if you're quoting someone else's words verbatim, you don't need to use quotation marks because the person has already put them in for you. In these cases, it's usually okay to leave out the commas altogether. Just be sure that your meaning is still clear without them.

Is it ever okay to start a sentence with and or but?

Yes, it is okay to start a sentence with and or but. However, you should avoid starting a sentence with these words if possible because they can sound awkward and unnatural.

Where do I put commas if I have two verbs in the same sentence (ex: She stopped and looked)?

Add a comma after the last verb in each sentence. For example: She stopped and looked; she saw.

What's the difference between which and that?

Which is used to introduce a list of things, while that is used for single items. For example: "I have apples, oranges, and bananas." would be written as "I have which apples, oranges, and bananas?" Whereas "I have one apple, two oranges, and three bananas" would be written as "I have that apple, those two oranges, and that banana.