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Conquering the Comma

Conquering the Comma

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Conquering the Comma

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  1. Conquering the Comma

  2. What is a Comma? • A comma is a punctuation mark that indicates a pause is needed in a sentence. • Commas help to clarify meaning for the reader. ,

  3. Clauses and Phrases • A clause is a group of words that contains both a subject and a verb that complement each other. • A phrase is a group of words that does not contain a subject or a verb that complement each other.

  4. Sentence Structure: Independent Clause • A complete sentence has two components, a subject and a verb. • The subject and verb must form a complete thought to be considered an independent clause. The couple dances. subject (S)verb (v)

  5. A sentence that contains two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction is called a compound sentence. A conjunction joins words, phrases, and clauses together in a sentence. Sentence Structure: Compound Sentence • Conjunctions • for • and • nor • but • or • yet • so • F A N B O Y S

  6. Sentence Structure: Compound Sentences • The comma in a compound sentence is placed before the coordinating conjunction. • SVConj.SV • Andybuilt a snowman, andJeffplayed with his dog.

  7. Sentence Structure: Compound Sentence Where would you place the comma in the following sentence? SV S Danstruggled with his homework so his father V helped him.

  8. A dependent clause contains a subject and verb, but the clause cannot stand independently. Dependent clauses can often be identified by the use of dependent clause markers. Sentence Structure: Dependent Clause • Some dependent clause markers: though although unless after before once whether because since when while until if as

  9. Sentence Structure: Dependent Phrases & Clauses • Dependent phrases and clauses help to clarify and add detail to an independent clause. • Dependent clauses may appear at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.

  10. Sentence Structure: Introductory Clause • When a dependent clause is placed at the beginning of a sentence, place a comma between the independent clause and the dependent clause. Dep. clause SV Beforehe took the test,Danstruggled with Conj. S V his homework, so his fatherhelped him.

  11. Introductory Clause • Where would you place the comma in the following example? SV Because it was raining wedecided to go to the movies.

  12. Introductory Clause • Where would you place the comma in the following example? Introductory clauseSV Because it was raining,wedecided to go to the movies.

  13. Dependent Clause When a dependent clause is located after an independent clause, Do not place a comma between the two. SV Wedecided to go to the movies because we were bored.

  14. Sentence Structure: Essential Phrases and Clauses • An essential clause or phrase is used to modify a noun. • It also adds information that is critical to the meaning of the sentence. • Essential clauses are NOT set off by commas. S essential phrase V The peoplewho work in my officeare loud.

  15. Sentence Structure: Essential Phrases and Clauses • The word “that” is almost always an indicator of an essential phrase or clause. S essential V The tiramisuthat I had at Joe’swas great.

  16. Sentence Structure: Nonessential Phrases & Clauses • A nonessential phrase or clause adds extra information to a sentence. • This information can be eliminated from the sentence without jeopardizing the meaning of the sentence. • Always place commas around nonessential phrases and clauses.

  17. Sentence Structure: Nonessential Phrases & Clauses • Even without the phrase the sentence still makes sense: My brother plans to throw a party. Snon-essentialV My brother, who lives across town, plans to throw a party.

  18. Sentence Structure: Nonessential Phrases & Clauses • Use commas to set off additional information. S V Stevesaid that he would propose to me on non-essential Valentine’s Day, which is my favorite holiday.

  19. Sentence Structure: Commas in a Series • Place commas in a sentence to divide items in a list. • The commas will help the reader to avoid confusion. • The comma before the conjunction is generally required, but it can be omitted if there is no possibility of confusion.

  20. Comma Practice • Would you place commas in the following sentences? If so, where? I am planning a trip to Paris which is one of the greatest cities in the world. The place that I would most like to see is the Eiffel Tower. Pierre who is one of my business contacts will meet me at the airport.

  21. Sentence Structure: Commas in a Series Consider the difference in the following: Last month, Alex dated Mary Ann Lee and Kim. Last month, Alex dated Mary, Ann, Lee, and Kim. Last month, Alex dated Mary Ann, Lee, and Kim. How many women did Alex date?

  22. Sentence Structure: Commas in a Series • Commas should be placed in series of words, phrases, or clauses. • Place commas in the following sentences: Martina brushed her hair put on her pajamas, and went to bed. She fell asleep and dreamed that she was a princess she kissed a frog and she rescued her prince.

  23. Commas with Adjectives • Use commas to separate adjectives that provide an equal description of a noun. The Test: Can you put “and” between the adjectives? Can they be described in reverse order? If so, use a comma. big blue house | three hungry kittens | a cranky, bald man

  24. A Common Error: The Comma Splice • A comma splice is an error in which two independent clauses are joined by a comma. SV Danstruggled with his homework, his SV fatherhelped him.

  25. To Correct a Comma Splice • Insert a conjunction between the two independent clauses. • Start a new sentence. • Insert a semi-colon between the two independent clauses (only in cases where the independent clauses are closely related in topic).

  26. To Correct a Comma Splice SV Conj. Danstruggled with his homework, so his SV fatherhelped him.

  27. To Correct a Comma Splice SV Danstruggled with his homework. His SV fatherhelped him.

  28. To Correct a Comma Splice SV Danstruggled with his homework; his SV fatherhelped him.

  29. Comma Splice Practice • How would you correct the following? This semester I am taking calculus physics and economics. Calculus is my best subject, I am certain I will get an A. Although I am very busy I still find time to have fun. Last weekend my brother visited me and we went to a football game a party and a rock concert.

  30. The First Round of Essays

  31. Lost and Found • “Right now I live in Naperville so the summers are never that hot.” • Recommending the Australian vacation?

  32. Formatting • Paragraphs • Please use them. • One exclamation point, italics over CAPS. • Arbitrary shibboleths, but significant. • Get your names on papers.

  33. My comments • I sporadically bold things I enjoy. • I underlined things that didn’t fit the conversational tone. • Challenges • If I ask for specific sentences, make sure you put them in square brackets.

  34. Conveying heat • “They sat and talked by the light of the fire. B drowsed, his left cheek swollen and tight with the heat.” • Banville – “Suddenly, as if the thought had conjured the thing, the real train comes shuffling into view down the line, one of the newfangled models that run on steam, the big imperial-blue engine with the black cow-catcher and the carriages after it, scarlet with gold piping around the doors and windows, all shimmering in a silky veil of heat-haze rising from the track. On time, for once!”

  35. Interest • We write for other humans. • Figuring out what appeals to people, what grabs their attention, what disgusts them or persuades them or makes them think. • Show, don’t tell. • What sense does reading engage? Maybe half vision? We’re not even paying attention to letter shapes, we are too busy extracting meaning quickly and efficiently. The unmemorableness of thoughts. What did you think about yesterday? What did you physically do yesterday? • Physicality, forcefulness

  36. Lame tweets • Mom’s back from whole foods: whatuuuup goat cheese #manchegood • Ugh so hot in my room • Cant believe u would do that to me. Don’t text me again. • Exciting tweets • ???

  37. Tiger’s storytelling • The blazing sun caused so much heat that the asphalt looked to be sizzling. This caused heat waves that, looking at the house across the street, seemed to have warped the land. Everything outside seemed alien! • Humans weren't the only ones affected. Some insects found small nooks and crannies to cool off in, while others squirmed and crawled into our houses. The neighborhood squirrels and chipmunks had not shown up once in that whole week. And the birds seemed to think that the day was too warm for them to sing. So the whole week wore on almost silently. No one seem to want to speak, or even move. It was all enough to drive anyone insane. • As I was searching through a pile of board games, some movement on the ceiling caught my attention. I looked up and I saw the shadows of sunflowers waving in the evening breeze.

  38. Symmetry • As kids drop their backpacks for the summer, they drop their newfound knowledge as well. • My little sister and mom were inside, probably watching TV, while I…well, I was outside in 100 degree heat cleaning twenty-some rugs along with my dad because of the wondrous remodeling we were and are currently experiencing.

  39. Varying tone w/ diction and rhythm • We played our four pieces and sounded great too, but at the end I was just relieved that the concert was over, this horror was done, and I was ready to go home. • The weather cooled down by 10 degrees. I was ecstatic. Every kid in the neighborhood went outside to play and we all had a blast forgetting all the pain and suffering that had fallen upon us for the past 6 hours. • The weather cooled down by 10 degrees. I was ecstatic. Every kid in the neighborhood went outside to play and we all had a blast forgetting all the pain and suffering that had befallen us for the past 6 hours.

  40. I sit on the couch and watch TV. Play some piano and read books. Maybe go to the pool a few times a week.

  41. A Few From Grace • “Let’s make,” Erin thought for a moment, “popsicles!” • A trick I learned from Thomas Pynchon

  42. Soon, the heat slowly settled on us, and our heads became light. The blue sky, the green grass, the brown earth, and the red flowers began to mix together to form a jumbled color. In this mess, I spotted a running hose. I wobbled over and picked it up.

  43. Intensifier + adjective • Really good • Really bad • Really fast • Really big • Really small • Really nice • Really mean • Etc.

  44. By the time the sun had dimmed, Erin and I were very tired. We decided to make more popsicles, and together, we sat on the patio, watching the sun melt in to the hills in colors of red, orange, and yellow. • By the time the sun had dimmed, Erin and I were exhausted. We decided to make more popsicles, and together we sat on the patio, watching the sun melt into the hills in puddles of red, orange, and yellow.

  45. Lists and et cetera • There are many buffets, restaurants, steak houses, and other places to choose from. • We only eat rice; we can’t drive very well; we all know Kung Fu, and countless more. • The mist, music, lasers, background, and other stuff create the theme for a great show. • Those included coloring books, flashcards, postcards, and an assortment of items...

  46. There were coloring books, flashcards, and spinning wire racks of postcards depicting charming views of the capital. I looked close and snorted: not one of them captured this heat, which was enough to make the marble sweat.

  47. Serial Comma • Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall. • They went to Oregon with Betty, a maid, and a cook.

  48. The list x, y and z is unambiguous if y and z cannot be read as in apposition to x. • Equally, x, y, and z is unambiguous if y cannot be read as in apposition to x. • If neither y nor y[,] and z can be read as in apposition to x, then both forms of the list are unambiguous; but if y or y[,] and z can be read as in apposition to x, then both forms of the list are ambiguous. • x and y and z is unambiguous.

  49. Ground Floor improvement • No bad habits • The next step is learning how to build longer sentences, combine redundant sentences, and start working in some more diverse vocab.

  50. Kids were outside, riding their bikes and hanging out with their friends, and here I was, left to disappointment.