Using Commas
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Using Commas. Why are commas important? Items in a series Independent clauses Introductory elements Interrupters Conventional uses of commas Review A Review B. Why are commas important?.

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Why are commas important? Items in a series Independent clauses Introductory elements Interrupters

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Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Using Commas

Why are commas important?

Items in a series

Independent clauses

Introductory elements

Interrupters

Conventional uses of commas

Review A

Review B


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Why are commas important?

Commas can help make the meaning of sentences clearer. In general, commas help separate or set apart elements in a sentence.

Too many commas can clutter the sentence and may confuse readers.

Problem: Unnecessary commas

My friend, Jessica, said she would feed my cat, and my dog while I’m away, but now, she tells me, she will be too busy.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Why are commas important?

Missing commas may also confuse readers.

Problem: Missing commas

The friends I have invited are Ruth Ann Jerry Lee Derrick Martha and Julie.

Without commas, it is unclear how many friends are invited.

Is this Jerry or Jerry Lee?

Is this Ruth or Ruth Ann?


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Ruth Ann

Jerry Lee

Derrick

Martha

Julie

,

,

,

,

Why are commas important?

Commas make the meaning of this sentence clear by separating the names in the list.

The friends I have invited are Ruth Ann, Jerry Lee, Derrick, Martha, and Julie.

[End of Section]


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

All my cousins,aunts,and uncles came to our family reunion.

The children played in the yard,at the playground,and by the pond.

Items in a series

Use commas to separate items in a series.

Words in a series

Phrases in a series


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Items in a series

Use commas to separate items in a series.

Clauses in a series

Those who had flown to the reunion,who had driven many miles,or who had even taken time off from their jobs were glad that they had made the effort to be there.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

The engine roared,the wheels spun,and a cloud of dust swirled behind the sports car.

Are you going to that hot,crowded,noisy mall?

Items in a series

Use commas to separate items in a series.

Short independent clauses

Two or more adjectives preceding a noun


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Items in a series

On Your Own

  • Add commas where needed in the following sentences.

    • The loud annoying alarm woke us just before dawn.

    • Robert Browning says that youth is good that middle age is better and that old age is best.

    • Dr. Charles Drew worked as a surgeon developed new ways of storing blood and was the first director of the Red Cross blood bank program.

[End of Section]


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Independent clauses

Use a comma before and, but, for, nor, or, so, or yet when it joins independent clauses.

Hector pressed the button, andthe engine started.

She would never argue, norwould she complain to anyone.

Are you going to the football game, ordo you have other plans for Saturday?


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Independent clauses

Answers

  • Add commas where needed in the following sentences.

    • It is important to know first aid for an accident can happen at almost any time.

    • More than eighty thousand people in the United States die in accidents each year and many millions are injured.

    • Emergency exits were clearly marked so people were able to evacuate quickly when the alarm sounded.

[End of Section]


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Introductory elements

Use a comma to set off certain introductory elements.

Mild exclamations such as well,oh, or hey

Hey,that’s an unusual pet you’re walking.

Introductory words such as yes and no

Yes,it’s my pet iguana.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Introductory elements

Use a comma to set off certain introductory elements.

Introductory participial phrases

Switching on the flashlight, the ranger led the way to the caves.

Two or more introductory prepositional phrasesor one long one.

By the time I get home from school, I am ready for a snack.

At home and at school, I enjoy reading different books.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Introductory elements

Use a comma to set off certain introductory elements.

Introductory adverb clauses

After he sang, the audience applauded.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Introductory elements

On Your Own

  • Add commas where needed in the following sentences.

    • Built ten years ago the bridge needs some repairs.

    • Why that yellow paint is really bright, isn’t it?

    • After one day at summer camp the boys knew that they would have a good time.

[End of Section]


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Interrupters

Use commas to set off elements that interrupt the sentence.

Nonessential clauses or phrases

Eileen Murray,who is at the top of her class, wants to go to medical school.

Nonessential clause

Tim Ricardo,hoping to make the swim team, practiced every day.

Nonessential phrase


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Interrupters

Use commas to set off elements that interrupt the sentence.

Nonessential appositives and appositive phrases

Nonessential appositive

Their parrot,Mina, is very gentle.

Nonessential appositive phrase

Elizabeth Peña,my favorite actress, stars in the movie I rented.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Interrupters

Use commas to set off elements that interrupt the sentence.

Direct address

Linda,please read the poem aloud.

I like the image of the birds in flight, Mr. Ryan.

Your comment, Bernie,is interesting.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Interrupters

Use commas to set off elements that interrupt the sentence.

Parenthetical expressions

Of course,I am glad that he called me about the extra movie tickets.

She is, in fact,a dentist.

You should try out for quarterback, in my opinion.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Interrupters

On Your Own

  • Add commas where needed in the following sentences.

    • 1.My dad’s classic car a 1955 Mustang won first place in the car show.

    • 2.That sculpture in my opinion is the most beautiful one in the exhibit.

    • 3.Are you competing in the track meet Joyce?

[End of Section]


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Conventional uses of commas

Use commas in certain conventional situations, such as dates, addresses, salutations and closings in letters, and certain titles and names.

Separate items in dates and addresses

After Friday,November 23, 2012,address all orders to Emeryville, CA 94608.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Conventional uses of commas

Use commas in certain conventional situations.

After the salutation of a personal letter

Dear Mr. Arpajian,

My dear Anna,

After the closing of any letter

Sincerely,

Yours very truly,


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Conventional uses of commas

Use commas in certain conventional situations.

Abbreviations, such as Jr., Sr., or M.D. when they follow persons’ names.

Please welcome Allen Davis, Sr.

Carol Ferrara, M.D., is our family doctor.


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Conventional uses of commas

On Your Own

  • Add commas where needed in the following sentences.

    • Please address the envelope to Ms. Marybeth Correio 1255 S.E. 56th Street Bellevue WA 98006.

    • I glanced quickly at the end of the letter, which read, “Very sincerely yours Alice Ems Ph.D.”

    • On April 6 2014 the company will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.

[End of Section]


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Review A

Identify whether the following items are missing commas (M) or are correct as is (C). For items missing commas, add the comma where needed.

_____ 1.During the festival, businesses on Main Street will be open late.

_____ 2.Brittany Adam Christine and Leo are just four of the graduates who decorated their caps.

_____ 3.Joseph who works as a lifeguard in the summer has already taken the first-aid class.

[End of Section]


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

Review B

  • Add commas where necessary in the following sentences.

    • My twin sister can run faster jump higher and do more push-ups than I can.

    • Lance Martin was born June 21 2004 in Austin Texas.

    • When Professor Marcus went to China last year he visited many historic landmarks.

    • She and many of her friends attended Earth Day a festival devoted to ecology.

    • Biking accidents are common wherever cars and bicycles use the same road so many communities have provided bicycle lanes.

[End of Section]


Why are commas important items in a series independent clauses introductory elements interrupters

The End


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