Comma reminders
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Comma Reminders. (Examples taken from English 21, explanations by Kyle Stedman). 1. a.I have, neither the time, nor the money, to take up the sport of golf. b.I have neither the time nor the money, to take up the sport of golf.

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Comma Reminders

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Comma reminders

Comma Reminders

(Examples taken from English 21, explanations by Kyle Stedman)


Comma reminders

1.

a.I have, neither the time, nor the money, to take up the sport of golf.

b.I have neither the time nor the money, to take up the sport of golf.

c.I have neither the time nor the money to take up the sport of golf.


Comma reminders

1.

  • If a verb needs an object, make sure there isn’t a comma between the verb and its object. Some verbs that need an object are to see, to lift, to punish, to give (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transitive_verb).

  • Exception: when you’re giving extra information. But if that’s the case, you need two commas surrounding the extra information.

    • e.g. I see, for example, a crazy-looking dog.

  • ANSWER: C


Comma reminders

2.

a.The dog ran over to the man standing at the bus stop and waited for a pat on the head.

b.The dog ran over to the man standing at the bus stop, and waited for a pat on the head.

c.The dog ran over to the man, standing at the bus stop, and waited for a pat on the head.


Comma reminders

2.

  • If a single noun performs more than one action, don’t separate the actions with a comma.

    • “The dog [single noun] ran…and waited.”

  • In your own essays, find the spots where you’ve used a comma followed immediately by a conjunction (and, but, or, yet, etc.).

    • If the part after the conjunction isn’t a complete sentence, you probably don’t need the comma.

  • ANSWER: A


Comma reminders

3.

a.A wildlife photographer may hike up into the highest mountains or he may venture down into steamy tropical jungles.

b.A wildlife photographer may hike up into the highest mountains, or he may venture down into steamy tropical jungles.

c.A wildlife photographer may hike up into the highest mountains or, he may venture down into steamy tropical jungles.


Comma reminders

3.

  • ANSWER: B (see explanation of last question)

    • “A wildlife photographer [first noun] may hike [verb for 1st noun]…, or he [new noun] may venture [verb for 2nd noun].”

  • Did you notice that none of the choices put a comma in the phrase, “steamy tropical jungles”?

  • If more than one adjective is describing the same noun, only separate the adjectives with a comma if you can switch them around without changing the meaning.

    • …the blue, heavy book

    • …young golden retriever


Comma reminders

4.

a.Pierre my poodle is a good dog for my family.

b.Pierre, my poodle, is a good dog for my family.

c.Pierre, my poodle, is a good dog, for my family.


Comma reminders

4.

  • When giving additional descriptive information about something, use commas if the sentence would make sense without the extra info.

    • The audience, which had at first been indifferent, became more and more interested.

    • People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Examples from Strunk, William, and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. Third Edition. New York: Macmillan, 1979.


Comma reminders

4.

  • Commas are usually needed around brief descriptions of a named person (or animal).

    • Richard McMuffin, an employee at McDonald’s headquarters, weighs 380 pounds.

  • Commas usually are NOT needed around clauses beginning with that.

    • The potatoes that smelled so bad had been in the pantry for fourteen months.

  • ANSWER: B


Comma reminders

5.

a.While attending the medical conference in Miami the medical student hoped to interview for a job with a hospital that had advertised for interns.

b.While attending the medical conference in Miami, the medical student hoped to interview for a job with a hospital that had advertised for interns.

c.While attending the medical conference in Miami, the medical student hoped to interview for a job with a hospital, that had advertised for interns.


Comma reminders

5.

  • When a phrase or dependent clause comes BEFORE the main part of a sentence, you usually separate it with a comma.

    • While attending the medical conference in Miami, the medical student hoped to interview for a job with a hospital that had advertised for interns.

  • BUT, if the phrase or clause comes AFTER the main part of a sentence, you usually do NOT separate it with a comma.

    • While attending the medical conference in Miami, the medical student hoped to interview for a job with a hospital that had advertised for interns.

  • ANSWER: B


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