Grammar 101-5: Commas

Commas… I have a serious love hate relationship with these marks. I love to use them. I hate to follow their rules. It is because of this that I thought I’d write this grammar post. Here are some of those rules I hate to follow:

• Commas set off abbreviations such as Jr. & Sr. (There is no comma when the last word in a sentence is Jr. or Sr.)
o Example: Rudolf Cline, Sr., passed away at the age of ninety-two.
• Commas separate parts of geographical places.
o Example: I grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon.
• Commas are used to create lists.
o Example: I forgot to pick up milk, eggs, and butter while I was out.
• Commas are used to separate three or more phrases.
o Example: After I write this blog, reply to emails, and feed my fish, I will continue on my WIP.
• Commas are used to separate three or more short clauses.
o Example: I am writing this post, you are reading my blog, and Katie is undoubtedly laughing at me.
• Commas separate introductory words and mild interjections from the sentence that follows them
o Example: Yes, you may have a cookie. Oh, you wanted three? No, you’ll get sick.
• Commas are used to separate the “noun” being addressed.
o Example: Amy, why are you prattling on like this?
• Commas are used to separate coordinating adjectives. (These can be determined by placing and between the words, if they sound odd with an “and” between them they’re most likely not coordinating.)
o Example: The little girl wore a black velvet, lace covered dress.
• Commas are used to set off parenthetical expressions. (Parenthetical expressions are words inserted in a sentence, though they are not necessary to the meaning. However, of course, after all, too, indeed, and perhaps are all examples of, sometimes, parenthetical expressions.
o Example: This is, in fact, the last of my bullet points.


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