Uses of Comma

uses of comma

Punctuation is an important aspect of writing. Many, even native English speakers, do not know when to use comma in writing. Here are the rules on how to use comma (,) in sentences. 

1. Use commas between lists of three or more.  Example: My mother bought cake, balloons, candies, and chocolates for the party.

2. Use a comma to separate two independent clauses joined by a conjunction. Independent clauses are clauses that can stand alone as a sentence and with complete meaning. Example: She is going home now, but I will stay here.

3. Use a comma inside quotation marks at the conclusion of a quote when adding attribution at the end. Example: “I’m going to London to watch the Olympic,” Mark said.

4. Use commas when an “ly” adjective is used with other adjectives.   Example: She is a very lovely, pretty little girl.

5. Use a comma to set off introductory elements. Example: Realizing his mistake, he bowed his head and wished he could just disappear in a blink.

6. Use a comma to set off parenthetical elements. By “parenthetical element,” we mean a part of a sentence that can be removed without changing the essential meaning of that sentence. The parenthetical element is sometimes called “added information.” This is the most difficult rule in punctuation because it is sometimes unclear what is “added” or “parenthetical” and what is essential to the meaning of a sentence. Example: The man, who won the lottery, donated a huge amount of money to the public library.

7. Use commas to set off phrases that express contrast. Example: The cake is delicious, but very sweet.

8. Use a comma to avoid confusion. Example: Inside the house is warm and comfortable. BUT Inside, the house is warm and comfortable.

9. Common starter words for introductory clauses that should be followed by a comma include after, although, as, because, if, since, when, while. Example: While he was sleeping, the dog escaped. Do not put a comma after the main clause when a dependent (subordinate) clause follows it (except for cases of extreme contrast). Example: I missed the party because I overslept.

To practice the use of comma, click HERE.


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