Never Miss a Comma Again!

Never Miss a Comma Again!

Comma Humor

Ok, this looks like me when I think of commas. That’s why I decided to learn an easy way to correctly use them.

If you feel the same way, read on…

Just like when we speak we need pause, so we do not sound like we are in a rush, we use commas to tell the reader to pause in a sentence when we write. Commas are very important not only because using them wrong can send a negative message about you to the person reading your paper but also because a comma used in a wrong way can change the meaning of a sentence, and the reader can even get the opposite message.

There are many techniques that can be used to tell where a comma is needed. For instance, many people say that when reading the work aloud, a comma should be inserted where there seems to be a pause when speaking it. This technique can be tricky, though, not always we are able to know exactly when to pause when we are reading. However, if we know a few comma rules, we can combine these two to know exactly where to insert a comma in your sentence. If you do this regularly, you will develop a sense for using commas.

1. The most common rule is when a comma is used between items in a series. If you are listing three or more items in a sentence.

2. Always put a comma after and introductory phrase. This is actually the way people speak. After an introductory phrase, we pause, and then continue our sentence.

For instance, if you read what I am writing right now aloud, you will notice that you naturally make a small pause after “for instance.” This phrase introduced the rest of my sentence, in other words, you automatically knew something else was going to follow that phrase to complete the thought.

Comma introductory clause

3. Between independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So). I remember this with the acronym FANBOYS. If two complete sentences (this means they have a subject/verb and can stand alone) are joined by any of these, you need a comma before the FUNBOYS.


4. If the word or words following a noun describe that noun, then you need to put the description between commas.

comma to explain noun

Here is a video that offers examples of these rules as well as more information on how to use commas properly:

It is very easy to not only miss a comma but also to place too many commas. Both of these can make your writing mean something completely different to its intended purpose.  Also, people are likely to accept, continue to read, and like your writing if it is grammatically correct because what they are reading simply makes sense.

Do not forget to check out a lot more tips from Professional Writing Students at USF. Remember, the way you communicate with others, say a lot about you, especially in the workplace.

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