Category: General English & Academic English
Punctuation Marks: Comma (Part One)
Have you ever wondered how to punctuate your writing in English? Many English language learners have difficulty using the correct punctuation marks in their writing. In written English, using appropriate punctuation is a mandatory requirement to take into account because the wrong use of punctuations, sometimes, changes the meaning of the sentence. However, proper use of punctuation makes the text logical, understandable and readable.
For some writers, the use of comma is tricky and they make many mistakes accordingly. The use of comma can be a little hard to learn, but once it is learned, writing becomes more satisfying and more comfortable.
Use of comma:
Rule 1: Using comma to separate independent clauses
In a compound, sentence If two independent clauses are joined with a coordinating conjunction, use a comma to separate them.
Ex: My English teacher was really kind and knowledgeable, and he taught me a lot about reading skills.
Ex: I went to shopping yesterday with my grandfather, but I bought nothing.
Rule 2: Using comma after an introductory element
An introductory element is used to provide a background information from the last sentence before an independent clause and it can be in form of prepositional phrase, subordinate clause, and transitional expression. So after introductory element a comma must be placed.
Ex: Subordinate clause: Because I did my assignment on-time, the teacher gifted me in the class.
Ex: Transitional expression: For instance, Japan produces rice to fulfill the needs of its people.
Rule 3: Using comma to separate non-essential information
Non-essential information is a phrase or clause which is not necessarily needed in a sentence and if it is removed, the sentence would still have sense and would be grammatically correct. And this kind of information can be placed between two commas.
Ex: My best friend, Peter, is planning to visit the doctor tomorrow because he feels terrible.
Ex: I admire your hard work. In this case, however, you seem to underestimate yourself.
Rule 4: Using comma to set off items in a list
If there is a list of three or more items in a series, use comma to separate them.
Ex: I my grandparents went to shopping and bought, warm clothes, winter clothes, shoes, and scarf for me.
Ex: In university all the subjects I took were amazing, but I liked British literature, academic writing, novel and methodology subjects the most.