The punctuation comma (,) is used to indicate a pause between parts of a sentence. Knowing the use of punctuation marks are important.
Punctuation is important to clarify the meaning of sentences. For example: “woman, without her man, is nothing” (emphasizing the importance of men), and “woman: without her, man is nothing” (emphasizing the importance of women) have very different meanings.
The comma has the following uses:
- To mark off each one of a series of words belonging to the same part of speech.
- The children laughed, danced, jumped and cried for joy.
- In a list.
- Australian birds, love birds and parrots.
- To mark off nouns, pronouns or phrases in apposition.
- Wordsworth, the famous English poet, was a lover of nature.
- Zophia, my sister, is an eminent doctor.
- To separate two or more nouns, adjectives, or adverbs that come together.
- England, Russia and France formed an alliance.
- To separate a participial phrase.
- Feeling tired, I went to bed.
- Being fat, she couldn’t run fast.
- To mark off a noun.
- Amelia, have your meals.
- Lily, come here.
- After an introductory phrase or clause.
- To be honest, I have little interest in politics.
- For God’s sake, leave me alone.
- In the name of justice, be fair to that poor man.
- To indicate the omission of a verb in cases where repetition should be avoided.
- My brother bought a watch and my sister, a camera. (= My brother bought a watch and my sister bought a camera.)
- To separate a subordinate clause from the main clause.
- After he had finished his job, he went out.
- When I opened the door, the cat jumped in.
Note: The comma can be omitted when the subordinate clause goes after the main clause.
- Use a comma for addresses, some dates, and titles following a name.
- Vancouver, British Columbia.
- September 8, 2018 ( but 8 September 2018 )
- Rose, Manager of Serena Hotel.
- Commas can be used to make reading numbers a little easier. They are placed every 3 decimal places for numbers larger than 999.
Note: (Commas are not used to the right of the decimal point.)
- To mark off a direct quotation from the rest of the sentence.
- He didn’t say,”I love you.”
Note: The following words and expressions are also separated from the rest of the sentence by means of a comma: at least, indeed, well, all the same, however, of course, on the whole, in short, in particular etc.
Related Article: Parts of Speech
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