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  • 1. RULES OF THUMB FOR COMMA USAGE from Real Good Grammar, Too Created by April Turner NOTE: Comp I students are responsible for only the rules covered on the first two slides.
  • 2. USE A COMMA:
    • with a coordinating conjunction to connect two independent clauses.
    • Betty is the homecoming queen, and Bill is the king.
    • to separate introductory phrases, words, or clauses from the main part of the sentence.
    • After the Vietnam War ended, a number of veterans were hospitalized.
  • 3. USE A COMMA:
    • to separate nonrestrictive clauses, phrases, and appositives from the rest of the sentence.
    • The scout leader, overweight and out of shape, trudged up the hill.
    • DO NOT set off restrictive information with commas .
    • Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn is on the censored list.
  • 4. USE A COMMA:
    • to separate direct quotations from the phrase identifying the speaker.
    • John said, "The fishing is great in Bear Lake.“
    • to separate the names of smaller geographic units from the names of larger units.
    • Denver, Colorado, is called the Mile High City.
  • 5. USE A COMMA:
    • to separate items in a date. Omit the comma when just the month and year or month and day are given.
    • Kennedy was assassinated November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.
    • to separate names of titles or degrees that follow the name.
    • Harold Johnson, Ph.D., will speak in the Commons on Tuesday.
  • 6. USE A COMMA:
    • to separate short, tightly, interrelated clauses in a series.
    • John phoned, Mary stopped by, and Phil left a message.
    • to mark allowable omissions of repeated words, especially verbs.
    • Your analysis is superb; your execution, appalling.
  • 7. USE A COMMA:
    • to provide clarity and prevent misreading, even if none of the other rules apply.
    • We left him, assured that he would fail.
    • (We were sure that he would fail.)
    • We left him assured that he would fail.
    • (He was sure that he would fail.)
    • to separate three or more items or phrases in a series.
    • Golfing, swimming, and bowling are my favorite activities.
  • 8. USE A COMMA:
    • to separate a series of two or more adjectives not connected by a conjunction if the order of the adjectives can be reversed and still retain the same meaning.
    • Your friend is a clever, sensitive person.
    • to separate interrupters or parenthetical and transitional words from the rest of the sentence.
    • Most of them, however, do try to act friendly and courteous.
  • 9. USE A COMMA:
    • to separate contradictory phrases from the rest of the sentence.
    • It was Betty, not Joan, who was elected queen of the prom.
    • to separate names used in direct address or other isolates such as yes , no , and thank you from the rest of the sentence.
    • Tell me, John, did you vote for Joan?
    • No, I am not voting for myself.
  • 10. USE A COMMA:
    • to separate tag questions from the rest of the sentence.
    • You did that on purpose, didn't you?
    • to separate words and abbreviations that introduce an example or an illustration, including namely , that is , to wit , i.e. , e.g. , for example , and for instance .
    • Many of my friends, for example, Fred, Dean, and Pete, like to golf.
  • 11. Questions and Answers
    • Does anyone have a question about the rules of comma usage?
    • PLEASE ASK!!!
  • 12. LET’S PRACTICE!!!
    • I have told one million lies in my life and that is the Gospel truth.
    • … life , and that…
    • As a child I was the kind of kid my mother told me not to play with.
    • As a child , I was…
    • Denver which is the capital of Colorado has an altitude of one mile.
    • Denver , which is the capital of Colorado , has…
    • The city which is the capital of Colorado has an altitude of one mile.
    • No commas (restrictive)
  • 13. LET’S PRACTICE A LITTLE MORE!!!
    • Linda asked “Do you think she’ll ever speak to him again?”
    • Linda asked , “Do you…
    • Paxton Florida is the home of the mighty Bobcats.
    • Paxton , Florida , is the…
    • The No Child Left Behind Act was signed in on January 2 2002.
    • … January 2, 2002.
    • July 1990 is the date for the Progress “90” celebration.
    • No comma (2 items in the date)
  • 14. LET’S KEEP GOING!!!
    • The commencement speaker was Juliet Brown Ph.D.
    • … Juliet Brown , Ph.D.
    • He shot pool he drank Anchor Steam beer and he rarely went home.
    • He shot pool , he drank Anchor Steam beer , and he rarely went home.
    • To the winners we give prizes; to the losers consolation; and to the spectators a good show.
    • … to the loser , consolation; and to the spectators , a good show.
  • 15. ALMOST THERE!!!
    • The morning after a policeman came to the door.
    • The morning after , a policeman…
    • Jeff collected a change of clothing shoes and golf gear before he set off for the day.
    • … a change of clothing , shoes , and golf gear…
    • A large green bug settled on the torn autumn leaf.
    • A large , green bug…
  • 16. WE’RE IN THE HOME STRETCH!!!
    • The order however was not filled that day.
    • The order , however , was not…
    • Pneumonia begins with a p not an n .
    • … with a p , not an n .
    • Thank you Susan.
    • Thank you , Susan.
  • 17. LAST ONES!!!
    • You’re going aren’t you?
    • You’re going , aren’t you?
    • Many of my friends for example Rachel, Jennifer, and Allen, enjoy going to the movies.
    • Many of my friends , for example , Rachel ,…