Commas clarify intended meanings by preventing misunderstandings and make writing read more smoothly. Here are a few tips on comma usage to help your writing flow!
Speech tags are the words that introduce speaking in dialog, the words that have quotations around them. Use a comma to set off a speech tag as in the following examples: The doctor said, "We were mistaken!" "They will be here for Christmas," he commented. "Would you believe," she whispered, "that they are hiding in the closet?"
The pack of dogs ran out of the gate, across the neighbor's lawn, and into the park. Another example: For Christmas, Susan bought her mother a new computer, software, and a service contract. NOTE: older references say the final comma before the conjunction isn't necessary, but in today's usage it is more commonplace than not.
A nonrestrictive adjective clause adds non essential information to the sentence, and the sentence could exist perfectly well without it. Set such clauses off with commas. Example: The Border Collie, traditionally used by farmers to herd sheep, is popular as an agility dog.
Examples: Exercising daily, Mike began to lose the weight he'd gained over the holidays. Thrilled, she threw her arms around her mentor in an exuberant hug.
Consider this sentence: After contacting Mary Chris Lee went to the doctor. Does this mean that after contacting Mary that Chris Lee went to the doctor? Or does it mean that after contacting Mary Chris that Lee went to the doctor? Clarify the meaning with a comma: After contacting Mary Chris, Lee went to the doctor.
These are but a few of the more common uses of commas. Commas are not hard. Get a good reference book and keep it handy as you write and pretty soon their usage will become automatic!
Commas are important in speech.
Thank you for this teaching time about the use of commas. I can tell you are a teacher of high quality.For some reason, I like using commas for a breath. I do not use a comma as you instruct in the end of #2 Thank you for sharing your wisdom. h5
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