Commas are the most frequently confused mark of punctuation . must decide when to use them and when NOT to use them . It is not always an easy task . In simple form , commas should be used in six basic ways Commas should be used to set off introductory words , phrases , and clauses . Anything that is written BEFORE the main clause (a complete sentence ) should be followed with a comma . Common introductory words that should have a comma after them are : yes , no , well , however [banner_entry_middle]
, and see . For example : Yes , I will go to the meeting with you . Common words that begin introductory phrases are : while , before , if , because , after when , and since . For example : When it was time to go home , I did not want to leave . Commas are also used to join items in a series of three or more . While it is sometimes debated whether the last comma (after and ) is necessary , it is better to include it . For example : I went to the store and purchased an umbrella , a raincoat , and rain boots . Commas are one way to join independent clauses . Independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction need a comma . Coordinating conjunctions are for , and , nor , but , or , yet , so . For example : John and Malinda are engaged , and they are planning an elaborate party . Use a pair of commas around interrupters ‘ that appear as words , phrases or clauses in the middle of a sentence that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence . For example : Mr . Higgins , my English instructor , is up for tenure . My English instructor ‘ simply provides clarification or additional information , but does not change the meaning of the sentence With direct quotations , a comma should be used prior to the quote if the sentence does not start with the quote . For example : Heather said Did you see that . If the quote is broken , a pair of commas should surround the interrupter . For example : I saw Jason ‘ Heather said and he was looking fabulous ‘ Finally , commas should be properly placed in names and dates . Commas should come between cities and states , as in Austin , Texas . Commas should separate the date and year in a written date . For example : September 11 , 2001 . Commas should also appear in a person ‘s name if she or he has a title . For example : Dale Earnhardt , Jr . or Katherine Bently , MD . Following comma rules is not always easy . Learning where commas are placed is essential to good grammar… [banner_entry_footer]
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