Three Rules them

I. Put a comma after time-order transition expressions (except then).

First, put four cups of rice into a pan. After that, fold the paper in half again. Before an earthquake, collect emergency supplies.

2. Use a comma after the first part of a compound sentence.

Children can chew gum, and babies can suck on a bottle or a pacifier.

You can swallow hard, or you can yawn several times.

Cook the steak over high heat for six minutes, but don't let it burn.

exception: This comma may be omitted in very short compound sentences.

Dogs bark and cats meow. Turn left and drive one block.

Here is a third comma rule:

3. Use a comma to separate the items in a series. A series is three or more things. These may be words or phrases (groups of words).

One dog, one cat, two goldfish, a bird, and four humans live at our house.

Every morning I get up early, run a mile, take a shower, eat breakfast, feed my pets, and fight with my wife.

Turn left at the stoplight, go one block, and turn right.

Notice that there is always one less comma than there are items in a series. If there are four items, there are three commas; if there are five items, there are four commas, and so on.

note: If there are three items in a series, some people omit the last comma. In this book, however, use all the commas because they make your meaning clearer.

I have visited many countries in Europe, Asia, and America.

Shopping, relaxing, and visiting friends are my favorite weekend activities.

remember: With only two items, you don't need any commas. I have visited many countries in Europe and Asia. Shopping and visiting friends are my favorite weekend activities.

I J.Wl+it4

Commas

Work by yourself or with a partner.

A. Add commas where necessary in the following paragraphs. Not all sentences need them.

My Brother, the Sports Fan

1 My brother is a sports fan. 2His favorite sports are golf tennis skiing and swimming. 3He skis in the winter swims in the summer and plays golf during the spring summer and fall. 4He also watches baseball and football games on TV. 5 His bedroom looks like a used sporting goods store. 4There are skis tennis racquets golf clubs footballs basketballs baseballs tennis balls soccer balls a bicycle and weights. 7You often can't see his bed his desk or sometimes even him.

How to Fail a Driving Test 'It's easy to fail a driving test if you really try. 2First park your car so close to the next car that the examiner cannot get into your car to begin the test. 3It also helps to have your two front wheels far up on the curb—blocking the sidewalk if possible. 4Second back out of the parking space really fast. sAfter that try to hit something such as another car. 6Don't stop or even slow down at stop signs but speed up to get through intersections quickly. 7Fifth try

to make your tires squeal while turning corners. 8Next look for an opportunity to turn the wrong way on a one-way street. 'Entering a freeway in the wrong direction will cause you to fail immediately. l0Finally don't stop for pedestrians in crosswalks but use your horn to frighten them out of your way. 1 'Just one of these techniques will probably get you an F on a driving test and two or more certainly will.

B. Complete these sentences to practice the "items in a series" comma rule.

Example:

Write a sentence that tells three foods you like. (Use and before the last item.)

I like Japanese sushi, Chinese potstickers, and Mexican tacoe._

1. Write a sentence that tells three foods you don't like. (Use or before the last item.)

2. Write a sentence that tells three places you might go on your honeymoon. (Use or before the last item.)

On my honeymoon, I might go to _

3. What are six useful items to take on a hike? {Use and before the last item.)

When you go on a hike, be sure to take

4. Name two animals that don't get along with each other. (Use andj _don't get along with each other.

5. Write a sentence that tells three things you do every morning. (Use and J

Every morning I_

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