Insert commas for clarity and emphasis

The comma has a wide variety of uses, but its overall role is to add clarity or emphasis to a sentence. Remember this fact, and the comma's many specific applications begin to fit into a pattern.

Whenever a dependent clause or a long adverbial phrase comes before the main statement of the sentence, it needs a comma. As an example, consider the previous sentence.

To determine whether to use commas with a clause that is within a sentence, read the sentence without the clause. Proper punctuation of a clause within a sentence hinges upon whether the clause is essential (restrictive) or not. If omitting the clause does not change the meaning of the main statement of the sentence, separate the clause from the main statement with commas. Ifthe clause is essential to the meaning, do not use commas. This rule generally means commas are used with the word "which," but not with "that." See Chapter 6 for more information on "which" and "that."

The horses, which came from 6 farms, were dead.

Six horses lived and 28 died. The horses that died were buried.

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  • Hildifons
    How a comma for clarity?
    8 years ago

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