The Comma

The comma helps readers to clarify a sentence's meaning; the comma eliminates ambiguity for the reader.

• Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction joining independent clauses (word groups that could stand alone as separate sentences). The seven coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. If the two independent clauses are short and there is no danger of misreading, the comma may be omitted.

There is considerable sentiment in favor of the project, and this sentiment is growing in strength.

She doesn't want to see Bill, nor does she want Jane to see him. I went to the dance but Mary didn't. (no comma is necessary)

• Use a comma following introductory words, phrases, or clauses.

Introductory Words

Use a comma to set off yes, no, and such mild exclamations as well, oh, and why.

Yes, I can go to the game tomorrow. My goodness, aren't you ready yet?

Introductory Participial Phrases

Use a comma to set off -ing and -ed phrases which come at the beginning of sentences and are not a necessary part of the sentences.

Hearing a voice, he turned quickly. (participle phrase describing he) Hearing a voice in the forest was frightening. (subject)

0 0

Post a comment