This little thing has a big importance in sentences.
1. Use a comma ď,Ēto:
- Surround expressions that interrupt the sense of the sentence
She is, as you know, very happy.
- Surround the name or title of a person directly addressed
Could you, Frank, figure out this problem?
Yes, Professor, I will.
- Surround degrees or titles used with names
Professor Wiseman, Ph.D., is going to give some courses.
- Separate two adjectives when the conjunction "and"
can be inserted instead
She is really a nice, educated woman.
- Separate the day of the month from the year and after the year
On Monday, April 26, 1985.
On Monday, April 26, 1985, in Massachusetts.
On Thursday, 1936, in Caracas.
(Omit the comma after the year if just the month and the
year are used)
- Separate a statement from a question tag
She didnít come, did she?
- Separate the city from the country and after
She has been living in Los Alamos,New Mexico, USA,
- Separate introductory words such as well, however, now,
or yes: before a main clause
Yes, she did.
No, she cannot.
Yes, I do come as soon possible.
- Separate independent clauses when they are joined
by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions:
and, or, for, but, nor, so, yet.
She closed the window, but the bird is still whistling.
- Separate an adverb clause and the rest of the sentence
Before she comes, she had prepared the stuff.
- Separate an -ly adjective with other adjectives (not a hyphen)
He was a friendly, wise man.
- Give contrast in a sentence
The idea is yours, not mine.
- Surround parenthetical expressions
She is, we have remarked, as fit as fiddle.
- Separate the name of the speaker from the direct speech
"I didnít see him," she said.
She said, " I didnít see him."
- Separate a weak clause from a strong clause
I am very sorry, I cannot.
- Separate parallel structures in series (adjectives, nouns,
phrases and sentences)
He saw a bird, a star, a cloud and a plane in the sky.
He was supposed to clean up the house, do the dishes, mow
the grass and do his homework.
- Surrounded nonessential descriptions:
(Nonessential: regarding the meaning)
The woman, who had a blue hat, left the park without her dog.
- Separate big, introductory prepositional phrases
Before the First calculator in 1642, I was difficult to do some
- Separate introductory clauses whish use common starter
words: After, although, as, because, if, since, when, while.
Because his car was broken down, he stayed at home.
While he was sleeping, she knocked at the door.
- Separate introductory phrases that come before the main clause
(Introductory phrases: with three or more words)
To be nice, you should tell the true
Keeping in mind all the words, she went to introduce
herself to the group.
- Surround a contrast in the sentence
She asked him, not boldly, the question whish he
never wanted to hear.
- To prevent possible confusion or misreading wherever
To him, everything is all right.
2. Don't use a comma:
- If the subject does not appear in front of the second verb
He came yesterday and was not aware of the hurricane.
- To separate the subject from the verb
Her mother (,) was sixty-seven years old last month.
- Between the two nouns, noun phrases, or noun clauses in a
compound object or compound subject
The book I read, and the Frankís were the same (compound subject)
She have seen her friend, and her sister didnít care about.
- After the main clause when and before a dependent
He was late, because his car was broken down.
- Between two verbs or verb phrases in a sentence
He bought a car last week, and lost its keys in a gas station.
Abder. Ajaja - © - All rights reserved 2002.