Grammar Lesson (Commas)

Grammar Lesson (Commas)

We use commas every time we write anything. They are so common in writing, yet many people don’t use them correctly or even know how to use them. There are many different ways to use commas, but we will review the most common comma rules. 

1.      Use commas to separate items in a list.

When listing more than two nouns, adjectives, verbs, or adverbs in a sentence, use commas to separate each item. 

For example:

-Nicole saw three giraffes, two lions, and eight monkeys at the zoo.

-Andrew has to run, jump, and squat for his physical exam. 

2.      Use commas when joining two independent clauses.

“FANBOYS” stands for For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So. When you connect two independent clauses with one of the “FANBOYS” words, use a comma before. 

For example:

-Sally needs to go to the store, and she needs to go to the bank.

-Mario knew he needed  to study, yet he went to the beach all day. 

3.      Use a comma after introductions.

If you use a sentence with an introduction (usually prepositional phrases or subordinate clauses), use a comma. 

For example:

-When she graduates, she will move to Denver.

-Since John did not know the answers, he threw away his homework. 

4.      Use commas with appositives.

Appositives are nouns or noun phrases that give more information about another noun or pronoun. Typically, you use commas to separate this part of the sentence if you can remove it without changing the meaning of the sentence. 

For example:

-Sam’s dad, Dean, leaves for work at 8:00 am.

-Tom Brady, a competitive football player, won the super bowl. 

5.      Use commas to separate quotes from a sentence.

When using someone else’s words or ideas, you will need to use quotes. You will also need to use them to write a character’s dialogue in a story.

For example:

-As Marissa left the classroom, her teacher said, “I will see you on Monday!”

-”I hope this works,” she whispered. 

You will learn about commas throughout our ESL program. If you are interested in finding more information about enrolling in ESL courses in Los Angeles or Orange County, visit our website American English Language School or email today!

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Published on December 14, 2022

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