2 #1 USE COMMAS TO SEPARATE THREE OR MORE ITEMS IN A SERIES. Example:December, January, and February are all summer months in the Southern Hemisphere.NOTE: Some writers omit the comma before the and between the last two items in a series.Mom, Jodi and I want to go to the movies.Mom, Jodi, and I want to go to the movies.
3 #2 USE A COMMA TO SEPARATE TWO OR MORE ADJECTIVES IMMEDIATELY BEFORE A NOUN. Example:Jupiter is a large, strange planet.NOTE: Some adjectives are so closely connected in meaning to the nouns they modify that no comma is needed to separate them from another adjective.The girls are refinishing an old oak chest. (not old, oak chest)Use the AND test
4 Betty offered to get the tickets, and I accepted. #3 USE A COMMA BEFORE A CONJUNCTION WHEN THEY JOIN INDEPENDENT CLAUSES IN A COMPOUND SENTENCE.Examples:Betty offered to get the tickets, and I accepted.They had been working very hard, but they didn’t seem especially tired.NOTE: A very short compound sentence is sometimes written without a comma.It rained and it rained.
5 #4 USE COMMAS TO SET OFF AN EXPRESSION THAT INTERRUPTS A SENTENCE. a. Use commas to set off phrases and clauses that are not essential to the basic meaning of the sentence.Examples:My sister, listening to her radio, did not hear me.The boy who is speaking lives in France.I reported on Secret of the Andes, which was written by Ann Nolan Clark.
6 Nonessential vs. Essential Phrases and Clauses The small turtle, crossing the street slowly, was in danger.Harvard College, founded in 1636, is the oldest college in the United States.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who retired from professional basketball, holds several NBA records.All farmers growing the new hybrid corn should have a good harvest.The theories developed by Einstein have changed the way people think about the universe.Someone who does a good deed gains more than the person for whom the deed is done.
7 PracticeAthena who ranked as an important Greek goddess protected the city of Athens.Frances Perkins who served as Secretary of Labor was the first woman to hold a Cabinet position.We enjoyed the poems of Gwendolyn Brooks who for years has been poet laureate of Illinois.
8 #4 ContinuedNonessential appositives or appositive phrases are usually set off by commasAn appositive is a word that means the same thing as the noun it follows; usually it explains or identifies the noun.Examples:Nancy, my best friend, is studying ballet.We’re out of our most popular flavor, vanilla.NOTE: When the appositive is short, closely related to the noun it follows, and essential to the meaning of the sentence, no comma should be used.Ex: White house spokesman Larry Speaks issued a statement.
9 #4 Continued Words used in direct address are set off by commas. Examples:Mrs. Clarkson, I just want to get to the beach.Can you tell me, Hazel, when the next bus is due?
10 # 4 ContinuedParenthetical expressions are set off by commas. (Page 643).Examples:To be honest, I thought the movie was fairly good.It wasn’t very good, in my opinion.
11 #5. USE A COMMA AFTER CERTAIN INTRODUCTORY ELEMENTS USE A COMMA AFTER A WORD SUCH AS WELL, YES, NO, & WHY WHEN IT BEGINS A SENTENCE.Examples:Why, you really should know that.Well, I don’t.
12 #5 Continued b. Use a comma after an introductory phrase or clause Prepositional Phrases (if the phrase is long or if two or more phrases appear together)Verbal Phrases (participial phrase or an infinitive phrase)Adverb Clauses
13 Prepositional PhraseIn the darkening attic room, the girls searched for the box of old photos. At night in the desert, the temperature falls rapidly. If the introductory prepositional phrase is short, a comma may or may not be used. In the morning, we’ll tour the Caddo burial mountains.
14 Verbal Phrases (Participial and Infinitive Phrases) A participle is a verb form that can be used as an adjective. It usually ends in ing, d, or ed. Signaling the referee for a timeout, the coach gathered her players for a pep talk.
15 Verbal Phrases (cont’d.) An infinitive is a verb form that can be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Most infinitives begin with to.To keep your bones strong, be sure to get regular exercise and eat foods rich in calcium.Note: Sometimes and infinitive phrase at the beginning of a sentence is the subject of the sentence. In such a case, the infinitive should not be followed by a comma.To become a museum curator is Shanda’s dream.
16 Adverb ClausesAn adverb clause has a subject and a verb. It tells where, when, how, why, to what extent, or under what condition. When March came, the huge ice flow began to melt and break up. Because I had a sore throat, I could not audition for the school play. If it does not rain tomorrow, we will go to the lake.
17 #6. USE COMMAS IN CERTAIN CONVENTIONAL SITUATIONS. Use a comma to separate items in dates and addresses.The delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.My friend has just moved to 6448 Higgins Road, Chicago, Illinois.
18 #6 Continuedb. Use a comma after the salutation of a friendly letter and after the closing of any letter.Examples:Dear Aunt Margaret,Sincerely yours,Yours truly,
19 PracticePlease send your payment to Montana Avenue Los Angeles CAThe meeting will take place on Monday January 21, 2013.Dear Joanne I really enjoyed our visit the other day.Registration for the race will take place from Friday, January to Friday MarchMeet me on Dresser Road at North First Street in Lynchburg Virginia.I was born on July 11, 1975 in DuBois Pennsylvania.
20 Mary said, “I want to stay after school for the game.” #7 USE A COMMA TO SET OFF A DIRECT QUOTATION FROM THE REST OF THE SENTENCEExample:Mary said, “I want to stay after school for the game.”“I want to go to the dance with you,” said Mark.Practice:“Please sit down so we can begin the meeting” said the principal.“Don’t forget to complete tonight’s homework” said the teacher “and study for Friday’s test.”