There are so many punctuation marks in English Language, but there some among them which are the most abused and misused. And it’s no wonder. There are lots of rules about comma usage, and often the factors that determine whether you should use one are quite subtle. But don’t worry! We will discuss below that what the basic rulings about Comma are and should we use it.
What Is a Comma?
While a period closes a sentence, a comma shows a littler break. A few essayists think about a comma as a delicate respite—an accentuation stamp that isolates words, conditions, or thoughts inside a sentence.
Rule # 1
How to use Comma with Subjects and Verbs, between Two Nouns in a Compound Subject or Object and Two Verbs in a Compound Predicate
With couple of special cases, a comma ought not to separate a subject from its action word.
- My companion Cleo, is a great vocalist.
Experts frequently enticed to embed a comma between a subject and action word along these lines since speakers once in a while stop by then in a sentence. However, in composing, the comma just influences the sentence to appear to be stilted.
- My companion Cleo is a superb vocalist.
Be particularly cautious with long or complex subjects:
- The things that reason me bliss, may likewise cause me torment.
- Exploring through snow, hail, wind, and obscurity, is a hopeless method to travel.
At the point when a subject or question is comprised of two things and the second thing is incidental, you can set off the second thing with commas—one preceding it and one after it. In any case, you needn’t bother with a comma when you’re just posting two things. Don’t separate two nouns that appear together as a compound subject or compound object.
- Cleo, and her band will be playing at Dockside Diner next Friday.
Cleo and her band will be playing at Dockside Diner next Friday.
You get a compound predicate when the subject of a sentence is accomplishing in excess of a certain something. In a compound predicate that contains two action words, don’t separate them with a comma.
- Cleo will sing, and play the banjo.
Cleo will sing and play the banjo.
This mistake is most common when the predicate is made up of long verb phrases.
- I meant to buy tickets for Cleo’s show, but ran out of time.
I meant to buy tickets for Cleo’s show but ran out of time.
Rule # 2
How to Use Comma after the Introductory Phrase, within a Comparison and with Interrupters
A comma regularly pursues participial expressions that present a sentence:
- Snatching her umbrella, Kate dashed out of the house. Confounded by her sister’s sudden change in inclination, Jill remained calm.
At the point when a word intensifying expression starts a sentence, it’s frequently trailed by a comma yet it doesn’t need to be, particularly if it’s short. As a standard guideline, if the expression is longer than around four words, utilize the comma. You can likewise utilize a comma with a shorter expression when you need to underline it or include an interruption for abstract impact.
- After the show, Cleo will sign signatures. Behind the working there is sufficient space to stop two limousines. Without knowing why, I crossed the room and watched out the window. In 1816 life was altogether different. All of a sudden, a furious dark feline sprang from the shadows.
In any case, if there is a possibility of misreading the sentence, utilize the comma:
- Prior to eating the family said beauty.
Prior to eating, the family said beauty.
Don’t use a comma before “than” when you’re making a comparison.
- This box is lighter, than that box.
This box is lighter than that box.
- Hardcover books are more expensive, than paperback books.
Hardcover books are more expensive than paperback books.
Interrupters are little considerations that spring up amidst a sentence to demonstrate feeling, tone, or accentuation. An incidental component is an expression that adds additional data to the sentence yet could be expelled without changing the importance of the sentence. The two interrupters and incidental components ought to be set off with commas.
- The weather I was happy to see was beginning to clear.
The weather, I was happy to see, was beginning to clear.
Rule # 3
How to Use Comma with a Question Tag and inside Quotation Marks
A question tag is a short expression or even a solitary word that is added to the finish of an announcement to transform it into an inquiry. Scholars regularly utilize question labels to urge perusers to concur with them. A question tag ought to be gone before by a comma.
These willow trees are beautiful, aren’t they? You didn’t actually write a 600-page vampire romance novel, did you? I know, right?
In American English, commas always go before closing quotation marks.
- “Pass me that thesaurus,” said Matthew.
Rule # 4
How to Use Commas in Dates
When writing a date in month-day-year format, set off the year with commas.
- July 4, 1776, was an important day in American history. I was born on Sunday, May 12, 1968.
If you are using the day-month-year format, however, commas are unnecessary.
- Applications are due by 31 December 2016.
If you are referencing a day of the week and a date, use a comma:
- On Tuesday, April 13, at three o’clock, there will be a meeting for all staff.
When you are referencing only a month and year, you don’t need a comma.
- The region experienced record rainfall in March 1999.
Rule # 5
How to Use Comma before But, & And
Use a comma before the word but if it is joining two independent clauses:
- Max is a good singer but she’s an even better dancer.
Max is a good singer, but she’s an even better dancer.
If but is not joining two independent clauses, leave the comma out.
- My teacher is tough, but fair.
My teacher is tough but fair.
When you have a list that contains only two items, don’t use a comma before the and.
- My dog Charlie is cute, and smart.
My dog Charlie is cute and smart.
Rule # 6
How to Use Comma Separating a Verb and Its Object and Between an Article & Noun
Don’t separate a transitive verb from its direct object with a comma.
- I’m glad I trained, Charlie not to beg for scraps.
I’m glad I trained Charlie not to beg for scraps.
- Mary said, she likes chocolate.
Mary said she likes chocolate.
Don’t use a comma between an article and a noun.
- The company managers accidentally scheduled the, weekly meeting for Saturday. A, bouquet of flowers may be created using more than one type of flower. I’ll have an, apple.
The company managers accidentally scheduled the weekly meeting for Saturday. A bouquet of flowers may be created using more than one type of flower. I’ll have an apple.
When speaking, we often pause while we think of the next word we want to say. In writing, though, there’s usually no reason to add this pause. If you are writing dialogue and you specifically want to convey a pause here while someone is thinking, use an ellipsis: I’ll have a… apple.
Rule # 7
How to Use Comma with As Well As, & Such As
The phrase “as well as” usually doesn’t require commas unless it’s part of a nonrestrictive clause.
- Please proofread for grammatical mistakes as well as spelling.
- Spelling mistakes, as well as grammatical errors, are distracting to readers.
The phrase “such as” requires commas if it introduces a nonrestrictive clause.
- Coniferous trees, such as pine and spruce, do not drop their needles in the winter.
If “such as” introduces a restrictive clause, omit the commas.
- Trees such as pine and spruce do not drop their needles in the winter.
Rule # 8
How to Use Comma before Too
Using a comma before “too” is optional.
- I like bananas too. I too like bananas.
A comma simply adds emphasis.
- I like bananas, too. I, too, like bananas.