Commas
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Commas. Part II. Parenthetical expressions. A parenthetical expression is a word or phrase that is unrelated to the rest of the sentence and interrupts the general flow of a sentence. Use commas to set off parenthetical expressions. Commas with parenthetical expressions.

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Commas

Commas

Part II


Parenthetical expressions

Parenthetical expressions

  • A parenthetical expression is a word or phrase that is unrelated to the rest of the sentence and interrupts the general flow of a sentence.

  • Use commas to set off parenthetical expressions


Commas with parenthetical expressions

Commas with parenthetical expressions

  • Examples of parenthetical expressions:

    • 1. Names of people being addressed

      • Don, Judge Burke, my son, etc.

        • Ex. We will go, Don, in just a minute.

        • Ex. Don, we will be there soon.

        • Ex. We will be there soon, Don.

    • 2. Conjunctive adverbs

      • Also, besides, furthermore, however, indeed, instead, moreover, nevertheless, otherwise, therefore, thus

        • Ex. The boys, therefore, decided to call a friend.

        • Ex. Also, one needs to be ready to go at that time.


Commas with parenthetical expressions1

Commas with parenthetical expressions

  • 3. Common expressions

    • By the way, I feel, in my opinion, in the first place, of course on the other hand, you know

      • Ex. The Internet, in my opinion, has made life easier.

      • Ex. On the other hand, it provides distractions.

  • 4. Contrasting expressions

    • Not that one, not there, not mine

      • Ex. It was here, not there, that we found the camera.


Nonessential expressions

Nonessential Expressions

  • Commas are used with ONLY with nonessential expressions.

  • One needs to learn to distinguish between essential and nonessential material.

    • Essential- provides that cannot be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence. It is restrictive.

    • Nonessential- provides extra information. You can remove the extra info without changing the meaning of the sentence. It is nonrestrictive.


Nonessential expressions examples

Nonessential Expressions Examples

  • My sister Joanne went to the mall. (essential)

  • Joanne, my sister, went to the mall. (nonessential)

  • The teacher wearing the blue dress took the students to the mall. (essential)

  • Mrs. Goff, wearing the blue dress, took the students to the mall. (nonessential)

  • The mall we enjoyed the most had a pool. (essential)

  • The mall, which had a pool, was most enjoyable. (nonessential)


Non essential vs essential practice add commas non essential or write correct essential

Non-essential vs. Essential PracticeAdd commas (non-essential) or write “correct” (essential)

1. Patterson Tower the recently completed office building is a monument to concrete ugliness.

2. The movie that I wanted to see is no longer playing.

3. Each person who enters the contest must send in two box tops.

4. John decided nonetheless not to buy the car.

5. The Mississippi River which once flowed north into Hudson Bay flows south into the Gulf of Mexico.

6. Your cat watching the dog intently walked carefully away.

7. The cat that was watching the dog most intently walked carefully away.

8. TV commercials sometimes the most entertaining parts of a program are essentially flashy corporate propaganda.

9. The dam project which many in the government consider to be a sign of national strength will destroy hundreds of villages and vast areas of wildlife habitat along the river banks.

10. The free-jazz musician Sun Ra claimed to be from Saturn.


Commas

1. Patterson Tower,the recently completed office building, is a monument to concrete ugliness.

2. The movie that I wanted to see is no longer playing. (correct)

3. Each person who enters the contest must send in two box tops. (correct)

4. John decided,nonetheless, not to buy the car.

5. The Mississippi River,which once flowed north into Hudson Bay, flows south into the Gulf of Mexico.

6. Your cat,watching the dog intently, walked carefully away.

7. The cat that was watching the dog most intently walked carefully away. (correct)

8. TV commercials,sometimes the most entertaining parts of a program, are essentially flashy corporate propaganda.

9. The dam project,which many in the government consider to be a sign of national strength, will destroy hundreds of villages and vast areas of wildlife habitat along the river banks.

10. The free-jazz musician Sun Ra claimed to be from Saturn. (correct)


Commas with places dates titles

Commas with places, dates, titles

  • Use a comma with a geographical name made up of two or more parts.

    • Taos, New Mexico

    • Peoria, Illinois

  • When a date is made up of two or more parts, use a comma after each item except in the case of a month followed by a day.

    • Friday, April 17

    • June 11, 1890

      Rule: Omit commas if date only contains month and year

      Ex: February 2013

      Ex: June of 2013


Other comma uses

Other comma uses

  • Use a comma after each item in an address of 2 or more parts

    • My new address is Katie Wedel, 243 Park Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63131

    • OR: Katie Wedel

      243 Park Street

      St. Louis, Missouri 63131 (no comma)

  • Use a comma after the salutation in a personal letter and after closing in all letters

    • Dear Aunt Mary,

    • Sincerely yours,


Other comma uses1

Other Comma Uses

  • Use a comma with numbers of more than 3 digits

    • Ex. The company sold 986,834,901 jelly beans.

  • Use a comma to set off a direct quotation

    • Ex. She said, “I can do that.”

    • Ex. “I can do that,” she said.

    • Ex. “I can do that,” she said, “and I will.”

  • Use a comma to prevent a sentence from being misunderstood

    • Unclear: Near the highway developers were building a shopping mall.

    • Clear: Near the highway, developers were building a shopping mall.


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