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  1. #1
    Penn Wooding is offline Newbie
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    Default Correct use of commas

    Hi there, I have several websites that I look after and also a few of my own. I've always been pretty clueless when it comes to the use of commas. I wonder if somebody would take a look at the following few paragraphs, which have been taken from one of my websites. Maybe you could tell me where I have gone wrong and where I have gone right with the use of commas. And as a matter of interest, you may notice that there is a comma just after the word "paragraphs" in the text above. This was put there automatically by my Dragon NaturallySpeaking software. Has the software got this right? thanks very much.

    Breathing heavily, gasping, rapid gill movement for prolonged periods of time maybe a sign that something is not quite right. A fish should not look as though it is fighting for oxygen. Obviously it will have to open its mouth but it shouldn't be a constant opening and closing motion. If you notice that you Oscar has started to struggle with its breathing then there are a few things to do at first. Firstly is your water in good condition? Check for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. If your water checks out okay make sure that your tank is being oxygenated probably. Check whether water is coming back in from your filtration, is it creating surface agitation? If not, it could just be a case of lack of oxygen in the water. If indeed this is the problem then all your fish will probably be behaving in the same way. Adjust the pipe and if all the fish stop breathing heavily you know what the problem is.

    The warmer the water is, the less oxygen it will hold. This is why in the summertime when it's very hot you often see fish in ponds hanging just under the surface, often gulping for air. Check the temperature of your water, make sure that your heaters are not malfunctioning and heating the water too much. You're more likely to find the water increasing greatly in temperature during the warmer months of the year so it might be worth investing in an air pump so you are unable to increase oxygen levels in your water.


    Unfortunately it may be a little more serious than just a lack of oxygen, or even toxins in the water. Breathing heavily is often a sign of stress and if a fish is ill this is exactly what it will do. Fish can suffer from all different types of illnesses, from internal parasitic and bacterial infections, to organ disorders. Heavy breathing in fish isn't always serious, but it's something you shouldn't ignore.

  2. #2
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    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Correct use of commas

    Breathing heavily, gasping, or rapid gill movement for prolonged periods of time may be a signs that something is not quite right. A fish should not look as though it is fighting for oxygen. Obviously, it will have to open its mouth, but it shouldn't be a constant opening and closing motion. If you notice that your Oscar has started to struggle with its breathing, then there are a few things to do at first. Firstly, is your water in good condition? Check for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. If your water checks out okay, make sure that your tank is being oxygenated probably properly. Check whether water is coming back in from your filtration. Is it creating surface agitation? If not, it could just be a case of lack of oxygen in the water. If indeed this is the problem, then all your fish will probably be behaving in the same way. Adjust the pipe, and if all the fish stop breathing heavily you know what the problem is.

    The warmer the water is, the less oxygen it will hold. This is why in the summertime, when it's very hot, you often see fish in ponds hanging just under the surface, often gulping for air. Check the temperature of your water; make sure that your heaters are not malfunctioning and heating the water too much. You're more likely to find the water increasing greatly in temperature during the warmer months of the year, so it might be worth investing in an air pump so you are unable to increase oxygen levels in your water.


    Unfortunately, it may be a little more serious than just a lack of oxygen, or even toxins in the water. Breathing heavily is often a sign of stress, and if a fish is ill this is exactly what it will do. Fish can suffer from all different types of illnesses, from internal parasitic and bacterial infections to organ disorders. Heavy breathing in fish isn't always serious, but it's something you shouldn't ignore.

    The comma after "paragraphs" is correct, but optional.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. #3
    Penn Wooding is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Correct use of commas

    fabulous, thank you very much indeed.

    I've tried to get my head around where "commas" should be placed, but just get a little bit confused. I'm using Dragon NaturallySpeaking software and it has got a function where it is supposed to insert grammar for you. I don't mind relying on my speech recognition for getting spelling right, but from my own self-satisfaction it would be nice to know where a "," should be placed properly. I normally just stick them after where I think a pause is going to be when somebody is reading.

    I tried to take notice on the news. For instance, when somebody is reading and you hear them as well as see what they are saying. Quite often there is a bunch of commas which doesn't seem to make any difference when you hear them reading.

    Anyway, thanks very much for the revised article, I shall replace that on my website.

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    Default Re: Correct use of commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Penn Wooding View Post
    I've tried to get my head around where "commas" should be placed, but just get a little bit confused.
    Try not to worry about it too much. There is sometimes, as with defining and non-defining relative clauses, general agreement on how commas should and should not be used. There is little agreement in many other cases.

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    Penn Wooding is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Correct use of commas

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Try not to worry about it too much. There is sometimes, as with defining and non-defining relative clauses, general agreement on how commas should and should not be used. There is little agreement in many other cases.
    I imagine that most of the people that visit my websites are not particularly bothered about grammar and probably get all the information they need without worrying about punctuation being in the wrong place. Having said that, I am quite particular about my writing so would prefer to get things as legible as possible. Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated

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