Have you ever searched for what this is ( , ) called? If you have, this is a comma. A comma is an English punctuation mark that helps sentences flow; however, many people don’t know the comma rules.
Commas are used inside sentences; they act like pauses between speaking to help sentences flow.
When using a comma, there are some specific formatting rules to follow, mostly with spacing.
Always put a space after a comma. Never before!
First, we’ll look into the things you can do with commas.
You can use a comma between two adjectives instead of ‘and.’
Commas are also used before three or more adjectives or adverbs.
Use a comma before coordinating conjunctions like ‘and, but, or, yet, so, nor’ when they connect two complete clauses.
However, make sure that you’re not adding unnecessary information. For example, you can eliminate the comma if you remove the second pronoun, ‘she.’
This rule doesn’t always apply for ‘but, nor, or yet,’ but sometimes it does, depending on the sentence. The following sentences are all grammatically correct.
Use a comma if a name follows specific dates, titles, or addresses.
When writing addresses, place a comma between the street name and another one between the city and state.
Note: you don’t need to place commas between states and zip codes.
If an address falls in the middle of a sentence, you need to add a comma after it.
Use a comma to separate the weekday from the month and another for the year.
However, you don’t have to use a comma if you’re just writing the month and year.
If you’re writing the month, day, and year, only use a comma before the year.
If the date is at the beginning of the sentence, use a comma after the year.
Placing commas in titles is tricky because it depends on your context and style guide.
Generally speaking, If there’s a name or title in a sentence's ending word(s), you can choose to use commas.
Note: if a comma is placed in a title, the name isn’t essential for the sentence to make sense. However, the name is important if a comma isn’t placed in the title.
Use a comma after or before the direct speech but never for reported speech.
Always use a comma for lists or series of words. This is called an Oxford Comma or a Serial Comma. Some style guides don’t require it.
Numbers over 999 need commas. However, only when writing the number numerically.
Parenthetical remarks are elements of a sentence that add information, but the sentence still makes sense if they are taken away; we use commas for these.
Use a comma when you want to separate a question and a statement.
You also use a comma when you want to separate different parts of a sentence.
In American English, periods and commas always go inside the quote.
Check out these flashcards and test your knowledge!
Sometimes, a comma is unnecessary, so it’s worth learning when not to use one.
Unless the sentence is giving us more information about the subject.
There we have it! We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about comma grammar. If you’re after any more grammar tips, we’ve got plenty.
Got a question? See if we've answered it here.
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