Unreliable Rules “When in doubt, leave it out.” “Put a comma where there is a natural pause.” “Sprinkle them sparingly, like salt.”
Commas to Set Off IntroductoryWords, Phrases & ClausesUse commas after introductory word, phrase, or clause.Examples: Instead, my mom decided to sell her van. Late that night, the news show reported the presidential election results. Since the writers workshop did not meet last night, Lauren spent the evening in the library.
Practice 11. Reluctantly, the instructor agreed to postpone the test.2. When Kim plays video games she shuts out the , world.3. During the seventh-inning stretch Harry Cary led , the fans in “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”4. In fact,the car has had very few problems.5. Yawning loudly Eric said, “Is it morning already?” ,
Commas to Join Items in a SeriesWhen a series of three or more words, phrases, or clauses is connected with and or or, place a commas after each item except the last one. The final comma goes before and or or.Examples: Motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and cars are his passion at seventeen. The dog had tracked mud across the porch, into the kitchen, and up the stairs. The doctor asked Neville if the pain occurred before he ate, after he ate, or while he ate.
Practice 2 1. Mycology is the study of yeasts molds mushrooms and , , , other fungi. 2. The ancient Maya restricted the consumption of cocoa√ to the aristocracy because of the cost of growing the beans and the labor involved in processing them. 3. The dog looked as if he had been dipped in water coated , with dirt and set out to dry. , 4. The children watched in fascination as the magician reached into his hat pulled out a dove and released it , , into the air. , 5. Students screamed as the lights flickered the alarm sounded,and the elevator jerked to a halt.
Commas to Join IndependentClausesUse a comma with a FANBOYS conjunction to join independent clauses.What is FANBOYS?• for• and• nor• but• or• yet• soExamples: Harrison thought that researching would be the easy part of his project, but it turned out to be the hardest. I feel exhausted already, and tomorrow is just Tuesday. Karen’s sinus medication makes her sleepy, so she avoids taking it during the day.
Practice 3 1. The weeds were tall and the mower died whenever , Helen tried to but through them. 2. The upholstery was worn and faded but the couch , was still comfortable. 3. Leo received a credit card in the mail but did not√ remember requesting it. 4. Lorenzo was studying so he let the answering , machine pick up his calls. 5. “You can pay now or you can take up to ninety days , to pay on our easy credit plan,” said the salesclerk.
Commas Around InterruptersAn interrupter is a word, phrase, or clause inserted into a sentence to give more information about some element within the sentence. An interrupter is never essential to the structure of the sentence. If your took it out, the sentence would still make perfect sense.Examples: The dog, tail wagging, bounded toward its owner. The student, disappointed by her grades, withdrew from the course at midterm.
Practice 41. The interruption, brief as it was distracted Heather , and made it hard for her to focus on her work again.2. Mr. Angelo a friend of my family runs the , , delicatessen on Third Street.3. Breanna, sighing heavily, opened her book to study.4. The banana,apparently left by one of the children , lay forgotten in the back seat until it was brown and shriveled.5. Lava lamps,which first appeared in the 1970s , became popular again in the 1990s.
Comma SpliceA comma splice is a type of run on sentence because it joins two independent clauses with a commas. This joining is called a comma splice.Example: Two pieces of paper slipped out of Desmond’s notebook, a student walking by picked them up and ran down the hall after Desmond.
Comma Splice CorrectionsTwo pieces of paper slipped out of Desmond’s notebook, a student walking by picked them up and ran down the hall after Desmond. Period & Capital Letter Two pieces of paper slipped out of Desmond’s notebook. A student walking by picked them up and ran down the hall after Desmond. Comma and FANBOYS Conjunction Two pieces of paper slipped out of Desmond’s notebook, and a student walking by picked them up and ran down the hall after Desmond.
Practice 51. The computer screen was hard to read, light from the window created a reflection on the screen’s surface.2. Fitness is important to Sandra, she jogs every morning.3. The store will open in the morning, it is closed for inventory.