Commas

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Commas

  1. 1. That Pesky Little Comma 0 The most used and abused form of punctuation 0 There are a lot of rules 0 Knowing the rules for usage is the first step toward correcting these errors
  2. 2. Commas in a List 0 1. Use commas to separate a list of three or more items. 0 You don’t need a comma between a list of two items 0 Make sure to put a comma before the “and” or the “or” (called the serial or Oxford comma). I had eggs, toast, and orange juice for breakfast. --OR-I had eggs and toast with orange juice on it for breakfast. You don’t want to be a serial comma killer!
  3. 3. Another Example The next slide is a page from a book that illustrates the importance of the serial comma. Without including the serial comma, the reader could be confused about what the sentence means, which is what the panda is illustrating.
  4. 4. Commas After Introductory Expressions 0 2. Use commas after introductory expressions before a independent clause. 0 Introductory word 0 Yes, it is a good idea. 0 Furthermore, you are a genius. 0 Introductory phrase/clause Before I reveal how high your score is, you should know that is the best we have ever seen. While I think you are a genius, you do not have any common sense.
  5. 5. Commas After Interrupting Words or Phrases 0 Interrupting words can be used to transition between ideas or to add extra information to help the reader understand something. 0 These words or phrases are not necessary to the meaning of the sentence. They are there to help the reader(s).
  6. 6. Commas After Interrupting Words Punctuating Which vs. That 0 When you use which, there is always a comma before it. 0 When you use that, there should not be a comma before it.
  7. 7. Commas After Interrupting Words or Phrases 0 Put commas on both sides of interrupting words/phrases (unless it’s at the end of the sentence). 0 I do not approve of your choice of punctuation. I will, however, give you some credit for creativity. 0 My aunt Selma, who is an animal hoarder, just adopted another cat. 0 My physician, Dr. James Strickland, always tells me the key to being healthy is to eat fruits and vegetables. 0 George Washington University, which is located in Washington, D.C., attracts students from diverse backgrounds.
  8. 8. Commas in Compound Sentences 0 When there are two independent clauses (complete thoughts) joined together by a conjunction (and, so, but, or, for, yet, nor), there should be a comma before the conjunction. Complete thought, and complete thought. 0 The boys wanted to stay up all night, but they grew tired and fell asleep. 0 She knew she needed to survive the 8:00 a.m. English class, so she called upon the power of caffeine.
  9. 9. Commas in Compound Sentences 0 Remember! If there is not a complete thought on each side of the conjunction, then you don’t need a comma before the conjunction. Complete thought and incomplete thought. 0 The boys wanted to stay up all night but grew tired and fell asleep. 0 The Big Bang Theory is a funny show and keeps me entertained every moment it’s on.
  10. 10. Comma Splices Are BAD! 0 Be careful not to join two complete thoughts with only a comma. 0 This is called a comma splice. 0 Comma splices are bad! 0 A comma is not strong enough to hold two complete thoughts together by itself. Example: She knew she needed to survive the 8:00 a.m. English class, she called upon the power of caffeine.
  11. 11. Comma Splices Are BAD! 0 The next slides is a real-world example of comma splice. 0 The second is another example of a comma splice— something you can find circulating on the internet.
  12. 12. Correcting Comma Splices 0 Use a semicolon instead 0 She knew she needed to survive the 8:00 a.m. English class; she called upon the power of caffeine 0 Or, add a conjunction after the comma splice 0 She knew she needed to survive the 8:00 a.m. English class, so she called upon the power of caffeine
  13. 13. Just for fun…
  14. 14. Finally, it’s important to learn comma rules. You don’t want to be responsible for this…

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