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Punctuation Review Commas Conjunctions Words that join two independent clauses together. For And Nor But Or Yet So I like animals, so I go to the zoo every weekend. Independent Clause Independent Clause Commas with Compound Sentences Use a comma before the coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence. Jose wanted to attend the game, but he decided to do his report instead. Either we will win tonight, or we will have to face a sad crowd afterward. Commas between items in a series Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses in a series. Ellen bought new jeans, a plaid skirt, and a pair of gloves. They drove to the post office, parked the car, and unloaded the boxes. Commas between adjectives Use commas to separate adjectives of equal rank. A narrow, rough road led to the country market. The tall, handsome man handed me the money. Commas that set off added elements Commas After Introductory Material: Use a comma after an introductory word, phrase, or clause. Introductory Material: Introductory word: No, I don't think I can go. Introductory phrase: Reaching the lake, she searched for her canoe. Introductory Clause: When she entered the building, she was confused and frightened. Commas that set off added elements Parenthetical expressions: Names of People Being Addressed: I know, Susan, that you will do well. Certain adverbs: I decided, therefore, to wait. Common Expressions: Mr. Wong agreed, I believe, to go. Contrasting Expressions: The room is narrow, not wide. Commas that set off added elements Commas with nonessential expressions: A nonessential expression, short or long, give additional information about someone or something in a sentence. Because it can be left out without changing the basic meaning of the sentence, it is set off with commas. Commas That Set off Added Elements Essential: My cousin the computer expert is growing rich. Nonessential:Cathy, a computer expert, knows BASIC and COBOL. Essential: The man standing in the corridor is the principal. Nonessential: Dr. Rogers, now standing at the corridor, is the principal. Essential: The boy who lives in the next house plays the French Horn. Nonessential: My cousin Phil, who lives in the next house, plays the French Horn. Commas That Set off Added Elements Commas with Places, Date, and Titles: When a geographical name or a date is made up of two or more parts, use a comma after each item except in the case of a month followed by a day. Use commas to set off a title following a name. Geographical Name: Houston, Texas, is a rapidly growing city. Date: On September 19, 1939, German Panzers invaded Poland. Name with Title: Jim Thon, M.D., Discussed safe ways to lose weight. Commas That Set Off Added Elements Address: Send the package to J. Brown, 10 Elk Lane, Glen Cove, New York 11542. Salutation and Closing: Dear Peter, Very truly yours, Numbers: 31,654 envelopes Elliptical Sentence: Lorraine plays the guitar; her brother Sam, the flute. Direct Quotation: “in a few minutes,” laughed Julio, “you’ll know the surprise.” To Prevent Confusion: For Carla, Jonas had designed a unique costume.
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