Why should we care about commas? “Let's learn about commas: they're used all the time and are one of the most important punctuation marks in writing. There may be a lot to learn, but each small lesson is pretty easy. Let's go!”commas --From hubpages.com
SEPARATING ITEMS IN A SERIES Commas are used to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses in a series. EXAMPLE Study for a test several days before, after school, and just before falling asleep at night.
SEPARATING ADJECTIVES Commas separate adjectives in a list modifying a noun (act as a replacement for “and” and “or”). EXAMPLE It was a dark, stormy night.
INTRODUCTORY CLAUSE Commas are used after a group of words before the subject of a sentence that do not form a complete sentence (an introductory dependent clause). EXAMPLE If you enjoy computer games, you will love the newest download.
INTRODUCTORY WORDS Commas are used to set off introductory words and phrases, including introductory adverbial, participial, and infinitive phrases. EXAMPLES Hopefully, we will be on time for the appointment. (word) Not wanting to disturb him, she tiptoed to the dresser. (phrase)
COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS Commas are used between independent clauses (a group of words that makes a complete sentence) joined by a coordinating conjunction (and, or, nor, for, but, yet, so). EXAMPLE The grass was too tall, so I mowed it.
NONESSENTIAL PHRASES Commas separate nonessential phrases and clauses from the rest of the sentence. EXAMPLE The camera, I believe, has a warranty. “I believe” is not essential to the meaning of the sentence.
APPOSITIVE Commas set off an appositive (a word or phrase that renames a noun). EXAMPLE Lisa, my cousin, works in a hospital. “My cousin” renames “Lisa,” so it is an appositive.
COMMA SPLICE A comma splice incorrectly joins two main clauses with a comma. EXAMPLE Joe studied hard for the test, he failed it anyway. CORRECTIONS …test, BUT he failed it anyway …test ; he failed it anyway.
Recognizing a Fused Sentence A fused sentence, also called a run-on, occurs when a writer has connected two main clauses with no punctuation. A main clause makes a complete thought, so you should not find two of them smashed together in a single sentence, like this:main clause main clause + Ø + main clause. EXAMPLE: Driving home from school, Brett vowed to protect the fragile ecosystem all the while the tires of his Cadillac Escalade flattened the toads hopping on the wet streets. --from chompchomp.com