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Comma-con. Commas The Slasher Film. Commas Can Save Lives. Let’s eat Grandpa! Let’s eat, Grandpa! . Commas Can Clear Things Up?. The panda eats, shoots, and leaves. No Commas Needed. The panda eats shoots and leaves. Commas with Coordinating Conjunctions.

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Comma-con


Commas The Slasher Film


Commas Can Save Lives

  • Let’s eat Grandpa!

  • Let’s eat, Grandpa!


Commas Can Clear Things Up?

The panda eats, shoots, and leaves.


No Commas Needed

The panda eats shoots and leaves.


Commas with Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are the most common way of joining independent clauses—to make compound sentences.


Example

Simple Sentences (two independent clauses):

Today Susan is happy. Most days she is sad.

Compound Sentence:

Today Susan is happy, but most days she is sad.


Tip: FANBOYS help you remember conjunctions.


Or Sing this Song


Commas with Conjunctions

Which example is correct?

  • Derek finally finished his book of poems but his publisher was not satisfied.

  • Derek finally finished his book of poems, but his publisher was not satisfied.


Commas with Conjunctions

Which example is correct?

  • A moose wandered into town, and scared several kids.

  • A moose wandered into town and scared several kids.


Commas with Conjunctions

Imaginary period tip.

Pretend there is a period right before the FANBOYS. If both parts divided by the imaginary period can stand alone as a complete sentences, use a comma before the FANBOYS in the original sentence. Otherwise, leave out the comma.


Let’s Practice:

Is the comma correct?

  • Tom decided he would walk to class, but changed his mind when it started raining.

  • The water at the beach is cold today, and it will be even colder tomorrow.

  • Braille is written as a series of dots or bumps, so visually impaired people can “read” it with their fingers.

  • Grade 1 Braille is a system in which the dots represent letters, and some very short words.


Commas with Transitional Terms

Transitional terms are words such as furthermore and however. These terms have little meaning by themselves, but they are important “signpost” words that allow readers to see a connection between two ideas.

A transitional term can be moved around in a sentence (even deleted). Move only the term you are testing—not any other word or group of words.


Let’s Practice:

Is the comma usage correct?

  • Consequently, we argue frequently.

  • My parents prefer that I major in a business-related field. Nonetheless, I plan to major in art history.

  • In general, blonde beards grow faster than darker ones. Nevertheless, my dark beard grows more rapidly than my blonde cousin’s.

  • Some medical experts say that sleeping on your right side improves digestion. Still, I prefer to sleep on my left side.


Commas with Adverb Clauses

An ADVERB clause is a group of words that answers the question when, where, why, how, or to what degree about the VERB in the sentence.


Identifying Adverb ClausesAdverb clauses begin with subordinating conjunctions.

Cause:

as, because, since, so that

Condition:

as if, assuming that, if, in case, unless,

when, whether

Contrast:

although, even though, though

Place:

where, wherever

Time:

after, as soon as, before, since, until, when, whenever


Comma Rules with Adverb Clauses

  • USE A COMMA after an adverb clause that begins a sentence.

  • USE NO COMMA before an adverb clause that ends a sentence, unless the clause strongly contrasts with the first part of the sentence. Contrasting adverb clauses usually begin with although, even though, or though.


Let’s Practice:

Correct or Incorrect?

  • I cannot study when you are beating those drums.

  • When you are beating those drums, I cannot study.

  • The car will not start, until you put some gas in it.

  • Until you put some gas in it the car will not start.


Commas with Introductory Elements

To make sure you have an introductory element/clause, see if you can delete it. If what remains is a complete sentence, what you deleted is an introductory element.


Introductory Elements/Clauses

Last Tuesday, there was a fire in one of the dorms. According to the school newspaper, no one was hurt. When the fire department finally arrived, several rooms were engulfed in flames. A friend of mine had her room filled with smoke. However, her room suffered no major damage. Tomorrow, school officials will tour the dorm and make recommendations. I have heard they plan to move everybody out within the next week.


Let’s Practice:

Identify the Introductory Element/Clause

  • Because the air conditioner is broken, the house is too hot.

  • As soon as class is over, we have to eat.

  • Now that I am hungry, we can eat.

  • While the cat was sleeping soundly, three mice scurried into the kitchen.

  • Surviving seventy-five years longer than humans have existed, dinosaurs are extinct now.


Commas with Adjective Clauses

An adjective clause is a group of words that describes a NOUN: a person, place, thing, or idea.

To punctuate adjective clauses correctly, you must first understand that there are two types of adjective clauses:

  • essential (or restrictive)

  • nonessential (or nonrestrictive) clauses.

    BREAKING NEWS


Essential Adjective Clauses

What to Remember:

1. Essential adjective clauses provide important identifying information about the noun it describes.

2. Do not set essential adjective clauses off with a comma.

Example: All of my roommates who went to the party were late for class.


Nonessential Adjective Clauses

What to Remember:

  • Nonessential adjective clauses provide extra information about the noun, but the meaning of the noun would not significantly change if the clause were deleted.

  • Set off nonessential adjective clauses with commas.

    Example: All of my roommates, who went to the party, were late for class.


Deletion Tip

Delete the adjective clause and look again at the noun it modified. If the noun is still clear, the clause is not essential. If deleting the clause creates confusion, the clause is essential.


Let’s Practice:

Identify adjective clauses and determine Essential or Nonessential.

  • My roommate and I like to watch the New Orleans Saints who play near us this Sunday.

  • People who like cats often do not like dogs.

  • I know someone who wants you to work for her.

  • At midnight, Daisy called her boyfriend who said he was playing basketball.

  • Louis Armstrong who was a famous jazz musician died on his birthday.


How’d You Do?

Identify adjective clauses and determine Essential or Nonessential.

  • My roommate and I like to watch the New Orleans Saints,who play near us this Sunday.

  • People who like cats often do not like dogs.

  • I know someone who wants you to work for her.

  • At midnight, Daisy called her boyfriend, who said he was playing basketball.

  • Louis Armstrong, who was a famous jazz musician, died on his birthday.


Commas with Appositives

The Film: The Joy of Painting with Appositives

An appositive is a noun (or pronoun) that renames a previous noun (or pronoun).

Like adjective phrases, you need to consider whether the renaming is essential or nonessential to whether or not to set off with commas.


Let’s Practice:

Determine appositive and whether or not comma is needed.

  • My roommate a political science major plans to run for public office.

  • He has a date this Friday with Janet Spain the woman who sits next to you in history.

  • This note is for your friend Natalie.

  • I had to take Junior one of my cats to get his shots.

  • My English assignment a ten-page essay is due next week.


How’d you do?

Determine appositive and whether or not comma is needed.

  • My roommate, a political science major, plans to run for public office.

  • He has a date this Friday with Janet Spain, the woman who sits next to you in history.

  • This note is for your friend Natalie.

  • I had to take Junior, one of my cats, to get his shots.

  • My English assignment, a ten-page essay, is due next week.


Let the Game Begin: 10 Sentences


1.

My English Teacher Ms. Gonzalez asked us to find three magazine articles for our next essay assignment.


My English Teacher, Ms. Gonzalez, asked us to find three magazine articles for our next essay assignment.


My paper which will deal with solar energy is a fairly easy one to write.

2.


My paper, which will deal with solar energy, is a fairly easy one to write.


I found fourteen articles in less than an hour and almost all of these appear to be credible and useful.

3.


I found fourteen articles in less than an hour, and almost all of these appear to be credible and useful.


I received an usual gift on July 1 my 19th birthday.

4.


I received a usual gift on July 1, my 19th birthday.


I went to see my favorite musical Rent.

5.


I went to see my favorite musical, Rent.


6.

Even though Ms. Gonzalez asked for only three articles I decided to find several more and choose the best for my paper


Even though Ms. Gonzalez asked for only three articles, I decided to find several more and choose the best for my paper


7.

I needed some advice picking the best sources, so I asked for help from my roommate who is an English major.


I needed some advice picking the best sources, so I asked for help from my roommate, who is an English major.


9.

She did not read them thoroughly, but gave me advice on how to determine what magazines were most credible.


She did not read them thoroughly but gave me advice on how to determine what magazines were most credible.


10.

I am confident therefore that I have chosen effective sources for my paper.


I am confident, therefore, that I have chosen effective sources for my paper.


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