Grammar Concepts Week 4 Commas Ms. Howard 9 th Literature/Composition Standard: ELACC9-10L1 March 16, 2015
The Comma coordinating adjectives or non- coordinating adjectives
A student’s understanding of commas: (as far as Ms. Howard can tell…) This student has no idea how to appropriately use commas, so they are EVERYWHERE (the misplaced comma). VS. This student uses commas instead of the appropriate punctuation (semicolon, colon, dash, or period).
The 3 Most Common Comma Sins: 1.Comma Splice (3/16) 2.Equal Adjectives (3/17) 3.Phrases (3/18) Quiz on Friday, 3/20
Know what the comma splice looks like… A comma splice looks like this: Main clause main clause. Main clause main clause. +,+ A fused sentence (run-on) looks like this: + Ø+ A typical comma splice occurs when a writer joins together two independent clauses, using only a comma as punctuation between them.
Recognize a main clause when you see one: subject + verb = complete thought (main clause). Recognize a main clause when you see one: subject + verb = complete thought (main clause).
Curing Comma Splices & Run-ons A comma is not strong enough to separate independent clauses, so to fix a comma splice consider doing one of the following: 1. Replace the comma with a period and capitalize the first word of the new sentence. 2. Replace the comma with a semicolon 3. Insert one of the “FANBOYS” after the comma
Example: Comma Splice She fell asleep and dreamed that she was a princess, she kissed a frog and rescued her prince. She fell asleep and dreamed that she was a princess. She kissed a frog and rescued her prince.
Example: Fused (Run-on) She fell asleep and dreamed that she was a princess she kissed a frog and rescued her prince. She fell asleep and dreamed that she was a princess. She kissed a frog and rescued her prince.
In an important piece of writing, comma splices and fused sentences = In an important piece of writing, comma splices and fused sentences = D E A T H ! ! ! Why? -Omitting or adding a comma can drastically change the meaning of a sentence. -Teachers and professors expect you to know this piece of punctuation that you’ve been learning since the THIRD GRADE.
11 COMMA SPLICES: REVIEW A comma splice is a comma that joins two independent clauses. A comma has many jobs; however, one job that the comma is NOT responsible for is to combine two independent clauses. Ways to fix a comma splice: 1. Replace the comma with a period and capitalize the first letter of the new sentence. 2. Replace the comma with a semicolon. 3. Add a coordinating conjunction (“FANBOYS”) after the existing comma. COMMA SPLICE = POOR GRAMMAR
12 COMMA SPLICES: REVIEW Plastic surgery costs are decreasing, the amount of people having it are increasing. Plastic surgery costs are decreasing, the amount of people having it are increasing. My cat, Bella, loves to eat salmon Baby, on the other hand, does not. My cat, Bella, loves to eat salmon Baby, on the other hand, does not. Bruce Campbell is one of my favorite actors his best film is Evil Dead. Bruce Campbell is one of my favorite actors his best film is Evil Dead. The air quality today is poor, we should all stay inside. The air quality today is poor, we should all stay inside. Comic-Con is one of the best events ever unfortunately, it’s also one of the most crowded. Comic-Con is one of the best events ever unfortunately, it’s also one of the most crowded.
Commas & Equal Adjectives Coordinate adjectives are equal adjectives; that is, each one equally modifies the noun. For example, a juicy, delicious steak is both a juicy steak and a delicious steak. For example, an adorable, playful panda is both an adorable panda and a playful panda.
The tricks to determining if two adjectives need to be divided by a comma: Coordinate adjectives can be separated with the word ‘ and ’ or reversed in order without changing meaning.
EXAMPLE of the TRICK! The sneaky, hungry raccoon stole a scoop of cat food. The sneaky AND hungry raccoon stole a scoop of cat food.
There are non-coordinating adjectives… For breakfast we ate two oversized blueberry muffins. We bought two dozen boxes of mouth-watering peanut butter Girl Scout cookies. This is where grammar gets ABSTRACT. But think about it critically! The adjectives do not EQUALLY describe the noun in the same way. Plus, they fail the “and” test.
Yay! Exception! The one exception to the equal adjective rule occurs when the adjectives reflect size and/or color. For these adjectives, the comma is omitted since misreading is unlikely to occur. For example: The big black bear chased the picnickers all the way back to their car. The jasmine plant has a small white flower that fills the evening with a pungent fragrance.
Class Practice: 1. No one could figure out where the unusual mysterious noises were coming from. 2. Peyton has the strong determined attitude that her grandparents had. 3. The boy wore a thick red jacket to school today.
Commas and Phrases First, what is a phrase? A phrase is a group of words that does not have a subject or a verb. For example: Eating a peach Screaming at the top of his lungs After seeing the Taj Mahal To buy a new phone
Introductory Phrases Use commas after introductory phrases, or single words that come before the main clause. You can recognize introductory phrases by common starter words such as, after, although, as, if, since, when, while. While I was eating, the doorbell rang. Because her alarm clock was broken, she was late for class. If you are sick, you should see a doctor. When the rain stops coming down, we'll go play outside.
Prepositional Phrases Commas should also be used to separate long prepositional phrases when they appear at the beginning of a sentence. Before he even started eating, he got up and left. To get a seat, you'd better come early.
Non-Essential Phrases A pair of commas, in the middle of a sentence, should be used to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. BE ON THE LOOK-OUT for APPOSITIVES! Question you can ask yourself to determine if the phrase is essential: If you leave out the clause, phrase, or word, does the sentence still make sense? That Tuesday, which happens to be my birthday, is the only day when I am available to meet.