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Comma Punctuation in Writing

COMMA:

Commas are used to separate thoughts within a sentence allowing the reader to mentally pause and assimilate the full meaning of the sentence. The misuse of commas can alter the entire meaning of sentences.

The comma is used:

a)††††† To set apart words in apposition.Appositives are words that identify or define other words.
Example:

††††††††Mr. Smith, our manager, will be there.

†* †Do not separate compound personal pronouns from the words they emphasize.
Example:

††††† † Jane herself will take on that project.†

b)††††† To set apart titles written after a personís name.
Example:

††† ††† John Smith, Ph.D. is the professor taking over that area.

†* †A comma may or may not be used before and after Jr. and Sr. following a name.
††
Examples:

†† ††† -† John Smith, Jr., will be the successor to his fatherís corporation.
†††††††† -†
John Smith Jr. will be the successor to his fatherís corporation.

* Omit periods and commas before and after II, III, and IV with names.

c)†††††† When setting apart the year from the month and the day in a sentence.
††
Example:

††† ††† Weíve had to reschedule the fundraising event, which will now be held on June 15, 2006.

d)††††† To separate successive nouns and adjectives in a sentence.
Examples:

††††††† -† Please donít forget to bring pens, pencils, paper, and envelopes.
†††††† †-† Weíre going to need balls, helmets, markers, etc., for the tournament.

† * A comma is used before the final Ďandí in a list of three or more items.

e)††††† To introduce spoken words.
Example:

†††††† Mr. Smith said, ďDo not charge service fees on the Dawson account.Ē

f)††††† After the salutation and complimentary close of a personal or informal business letter.
Example:

†††††Dear John,†††††††††† Best regards,

g)††††† To coordinate adjectives as qualifying words preceding a noun.
Example:

†† ††We want it to be a clear, simplified, informative presentation.


†* Donít use a comma between two adjectives preceding a noun if the adjectives are too closely related to be separated:†
†††
Examples:

†††††† †- †Itís an attractive quaint little motel along the shore.
††††††††- †
The reasonable additional cost for this perk is acceptable.

h)††††† To separate the name of a person that is addressed from the rest of the sentence.
††
Example:

††† We welcome you, Jane, as the newest addition to our team.

i)††††††† To set off a contrasted word, phrase or clause.
Example:

†† † †A better way to get cooperation from your team members is by asking, not telling.

j)††††††† To set off a transitional word or expression when a pause is needed for clearness or emphasis.
††
Examples:

†††† †††† -† Therefore, this matter must be dealt with as quickly as possible.†
††††††††† -†
Indeed, it was a success.
††††††††† -†
As was intended, the focus turned to costs.

† *† Do not use a comma when such words, phrases and clauses do not interrupt the thought or required punctuation for clearness.
††††
Examples:

††††††††††† -† The board therefore voted unanimously in favor of the acquisition.
††††††††††† -††
It is indeed surprising that that they lost the contract.
††††††††††† -†
That decision in this case was expected.

k)†††††† To follow words such as yes, no, well when one of these words is at the beginning of a sentence.††
††
Examples:

††††††††††-† Yes, we expect him to arrive this week.†
††††††††† -††
Well, this is the case so we must implement plans to offset the losses.††††††††


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