Punctuation : Comma

Punctuation : Comma

Commas are used to separate parts of sentence in order to mark some of the pauses made in speech.

We use commas :

  • Before “and” to make meaning quite clear.

I study Mexican poetry, and painting.

I study Mexican poetry and painting (no comma because both are Mexican).

  • Sometimes before “or or nor” in order to make meaning clear.

Work hard, or you’ll fail (Comma is necessary).

David or Ken will clean the board (no comma).

  • Usually before “but”.

The room was hot, but clean.

We kept knocking, but nobody opened.

  • Always before “for”, “as” and “since” (when these mean because).

There was no need for me to get dressed, for I was not invited.

  • to separate phrases.

If you work hard, you’ll succeed.

When Martin comes, ask him to phone me.

  • before and after a clause or phrase that gives additional information.

Adina, whose mother is Mexican, speaks both English and Spanish.

  • to separate a tag question from the rest of the sentence.

He lives in Ankara, doesn’t he ?

She is Romanian, isn’t she ?

  • to separate words in a list, but they are often omitted before “and”.

I bought flour, eggs, butter and two bottles of milk.

I am with Shana, Dana and Joshua.

  • before “said” when writing down a conversation.

“Don’t be late”, She said.

“She’s a beautiful lady !”, Alain said.


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