Use commas to separate independent clauses whenthey are joined by any of these seven coordinatingconjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.– The game was over, but the crowd refused toleave.– The student explained her question yet theinstructor still didnt seem to understand.– Yesterday was her brothers birthday so shetook him out to dinner.
#2: Use commas after introductory a)clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that comebefore the main clause.• Common starter words for introductory clausesthat should be followed by a comma includeafter, although, as, because, if, since, when, while.– While I was eating, the cat scratched at the door.– Because her alarm clock was broken, she was late forclass.– If you are ill, you ought to see a doctor.– When the snow stops falling, well shovel thedriveway.
#2: Use commas after introductory a)clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that comebefore the main clause.• Common introductory words thatshould be followed by a commainclude yes, however, well.– Well, perhaps he meant no harm.– Yes, the package should arrive tomorrowmorning.– However, you may not be satisfied withthe results
3. Use a pair of commas in the middle of asentence to set off clauses, phrases, andwords that are not essential to the meaning ofthe sentence. Use one comma before toindicate the beginning of the pause and oneat the end to indicate the end of the pause.• Clause: That Tuesday, which happens to bemy birthday, is the only day when I amavailable to meet.• Phrase: This restaurant has an excitingatmosphere. The food, on the other hand, israther bland.• Word: I appreciate your hard work. In thiscase, however, you seem to have over-exerted yourself.
4. Do not use commas to set off essential elementsof the sentence, such as clauses beginning withthat (relative clauses). That clauses after nouns arealways essential. That clauses following a verbexpressing mental action are always essential• The book that I borrowed from you isexcellent.• The apples that fell out of the basket arebruised.• She believes that she will be able to earnan A.• He is dreaming that he can fly.
5. Use commas to separate three or morewords, phrases, or clauses written in aseries.• The Constitution establishes thelegislative, executive, and judicialbranches of government.• The candidate promised to lowertaxes, protect the environment, reducecrime, and end unemployment.
6. Use commas to separate two or more coordinateadjectives that describe the same noun. Be surenever to add an extra comma between the finaladjective and the noun itself or to use commas withnon-coordinate adjectives.• He was a difficult, stubborn child.(coordinate)• They lived in a white frame house. (non-coordinate)• She often wore a gray wool shawl. (non-coordinate)• Your cousin has an easy, happy smile.(coordinate)
10. Use a comma to shift between themain discourse and a quotation.• John said without emotion, "Ill see youtomorrow."• "I was able," she answered, "tocomplete the assignment."• In 1848, Marx wrote, "Workers of theworld, unite!"
11. Use commas wherever necessary toprevent possible confusion ormisreading.To George Harrison had been a sort ofidol.