That is a huge subject. Why not Google "comma usage" first?
Student or Learner
When we should put comma.
I did.however each time I became more confused.
But it's really not hard! There are only five ways to use commas:
1. Use them to set off phrases that don't change the meaning of the sentence:
The pie, cooling in the window, was stolen. (There is just one pie. The phrase cooling in the window just tells us more about it. If we remove cooling in the window, the sentence The pie was stolen would be just as true.)
The pie cooling in the window was stolen. (This tells us that there is more than one pie and tells us which pie was stolen. To just say The pie was stolen would mislead the reader. So we need the comma.)
2. Use them to separate phrases that could each be a sentence by itself (and do not use them if they cannot be sentences):
- They got caught with the pie, and they were arrested. (It can be broken into two sentences: They got caught with the pie. They were arrested.)
- They got caught with the pie and were arrested. (It cannot be broken into sentences.)
3. Use them for lists and series of more than two items:
- The pie was made of fruit, flour, butter, milk, and sugar.
- The thieves ran from the window, got lost in the swamp, ruined their shoes, and were rescued by the baker.
(Some people use a comma before the and. Some don't. Either way is fine, but be consistent.)
4. Use them to set off time and place information:
- March 6, 1952, is my birthday.
- New York City, New York, U.S.A., is the city I was born in.
5. Put them in front of capitalized titles and honorifics that appear after people's names (but don't use them for titles before people's names).
- Most people agree that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made good speeches.
- I believe that Captain Hornblower, Ret., settled in England.
And that's it. Advice:
1. Learn to diagram sentences. It will always help you figure out whether a comma is needed!
2. Look up dependent clauses, independent clauses, compound sentences, and Oxford comma.
I hope that helps!
Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 13-Apr-2015 at 15:43.
I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.
Which comma rule is being applied to the sentence below.
Since I can do no good because a woman,Reach constantly at something that is near it.
The Maid's Tragedy:BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
It's clearly a misquotation as it makes no sense.
Where is the mistake?
The comma "rule" being applied here probably belongs to the 16th century. There's a comma at the end of most lines. It's written in a poetic style.
I wonder why you chose those particular lines from the whole play?
_Evad_. I have done nothing good to win belief,
My life hath been so faithless; all the creatures
Made for heavens honours have their ends, and good ones,
All but the cousening _Crocodiles_, false women;
They reign here like those plagues, those killing sores
Men pray against; and when they die, like tales
Ill told, and unbeliev'd, they pass away,
And go to dust forgotten: But my Lord,
Those short dayes I shall number to my rest,
(As many must not see me) shall though too late,
Though in my evening, yet perceive a will,
Since I can do no good because a woman,
Reach constantly at some thing that is near it;
I will redeem one minute of my age,
Or like another _Niobe_ I'le weep till I am water.