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Thread: Comma Usage

  1. Eric Davis's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 86

    Comma Usage

    I am trying to get a better grip on comma usage. If somebody could give this a look, I would very much appreciate their efforts. Thank you.

    The comma is used to separate elements in a series:
    “We purchased eggs, butter, and bread at the store yesterday.”
    “ They ran, played, and laughed”
    “Tommy jumped with joy, ran into the house, and hugged his mother.”
    “We walked down the path, through the forest, and into the cabin.” (?)

    The comma is used with a conjunction (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so) to join two independent clauses:
    “Jim was angry at Bill, but he did not act on his feelings.”
    “The boys were very happy, for they had just returned from the candy store.”
    “We will not approve your vacation, nor will we give you a raise.”
    “Nancy was concerned about her rash, yet she did not call the doctor.”

    The comma is used to set off introductory elements (participle phrases, adverbial phrases and clauses):
    “Walking down the street, Craig realized he had forgotten his wallet.”
    “In the Northwest United States, the weather is usually cloudy and wet.”
    “Because he was always working long hours, Ted felt envy towards more fortunate people.”
    “At the sound of the bell, the children ran out of their classroom and onto the playground.”

    The comma is used to set off parenthetical elements and appositives:
    “The house down the street, which was build many years ago, is in poor condition.”
    “Her devious plan, to rule the world as a despot, is terribly evil.”
    “Lisa, my wife of twenty years, has a plan to rule the world.”
    “That book, which is dusty an worn, is on the table.”

    The comma is used to set off clauses that are not essential to the sentence:

    The comma is used to set off a clause to avoid misreading:
    “I knew she was ill when she called me, because I had talked with her doctor.”
    “The boy ran to school after his mother had served him breakfast, because he was very late.”
    “I worked as a machinist for a company that made sprockets, when I was younger.”
    “They lived next to a man who invented the coffee maker, in South Park.”(?)

    Do not put a comma between a conjunction and an interjection, adverbial modifier, or an adverbial clause:
    “We were young and wild, but of course, we did not know any better.”
    “ As a young man, I was stupid; and even though I had good advise, I still made foolish choices.”
    “They still do not understand the problem, and frankly, I do not care.
    “We purchased a new car yesterday, and presumably, we can afford the payments.”

    Use a comma to separate absolute phrases from the body of a sentence:
    “The sun setting behind the distant hills, Tom and Louis decided to walk home.”
    “Our bill having been paid, we left the restaurant.”
    “Her arm broken and swollen, Jan ran home crying.”
    “Their breaths white in the early morning air, the hunters sat down for a rest.

    The comma is used to set off names of direct address:
    “How are you today, Tom?”
    “Ann, are you feeling well?”
    “I'm telling you, Bill, that there is no need for a new computer.”
    “Yes, I will see you at the party, Jane.”

    The comma is used to set off coordinate adjectives:
    “He was a large, intelligent man.”
    “She was a beautiful, playful child.”
    “That was a hot, delicious meal.”
    “They work for a big, impersonal company.”

    The comma is used to set off quoted elements:
    “I am not crazy!” she said, shouting at the top of her voice..
    “The problem is ,” he said, “that we have no money”
    Mr Harley writes, “ I have no problems except to earn a better living.”
    “We will be victorious.” he exclaimed. “Will you join us?”

    Do not use a comma if the quotation follows the word “that”:
    He said that “the quarterly revenues should look better in the following months.”

    Use a colon to set off lengthy quotations:
    He interrupted the conversation, said: “I do not believe we can change the world overnight, because our resources are limited, because we are small in number.”

    The comma is used to set off phrases that express contrast:
    “I did it for the money, not for love.”
    “She was an attractive woman, but very annoying.
    “We knew each other for only days, not for years.”
    “She was a flower without thorns, not a weed.”

    The comma is used to avoid confusion:

  2. Eric Davis's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 86

    Re: Comma Usage

    Nobody will take a whack at this?

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