In honor of today being the 6th National Punctuation Day, I’m dedicating today’s post to commas. This little symbol has a big job, and it is frequently abused. Here are some of the rules:
1. Use them to set off introductory elements.
2. Use them to connect 2 independent clauses.
3. Use them to break a sentence down into manageable sections.
4. Use them when necessary to prevent confusion or misreading.
5. Use them to separate 3 or more words, phrases, or clauses in a series.
6. Use them to set off quoted material within a sentence.
7. Use them to set off geographical names.
8. Use them to show a distinct pause.
There are more rules regarding commas, but some of them are too complex to list without going into explanations and examples. To be honest, I’m not sure I even understand what some of them are talking about. (I’ve been out of school a very long time.)
If you want to know more, take a look at these helpful sites:
Do you know the rules, look them up when necessary, or just place commas where they sound good to you? What’s your favorite punctuation mark? Which punctuation symbol gives you the most trouble?