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Common uses for commas

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					                                                                Common Uses for Commas
Introductory Clause:                        Rule:                                    Example:                               Explanation:
a fragment (it cannot stand along as a      Use a comma after most introductory      Although the door was locked,          In the example, the italicized section is
sentence) that introduces the main          clauses that are longer than two         someone broke in and took a            the introductory clause. Notice that the
idea.                                       words.                                   shower in our house.                   comma follows the introductory clause to
                                                                                                                            separate it from the main sentence.

Transitional Expression:                    Rule:                                    Examples:                              Explanation:
shows how one idea in a sentence            If a transitional expression is in the   All of my professors are insane.       In the examples, the transitional
relates to another idea in the same         middle of a sentence, set it off with    My English professor, for              expressions are italicized. In the first
sentence or in the sentence directly        commas on both sides. If it comes at     instance, wears her pet chinchilla     example, the transitional expression “for
before or after.                            the beginning or end of a sentene,       around her neck during lectures.       instance” appears in the middle of a
                                            only one comma is necessary to                                                  sentence and is set off with commas. In
                                            sep[erate it from the rest of the        Many offices are observing             the second example, the transitional
                                            sentence.                                holiday hours. For example, post       expression “For example” appears at the
                                                                                     offices and banks are closed           beginning of the sentence and is
                                                                                     today.                                 therefore followed by a comma.

Parenthetical Expression:                   Rule:                                    Example: Your hair, by the way,        Explanation:
 a word, or group of words, that            Use a comma before and after the         looks absolutely fabulous.             In the example, by the way is a
provide relevant but not essential          parenthetical expressions.                                                      parenthetical expression and is therefore
information in the middle of a                                                                                              set off with commas.
sentence. You could put parentheses
(like this) around the word(s) and the
sentence would still make sense.



Four other uses for commas:
   1. Use a comma after answering a “yes” or “no” question.                          Yes, I will go to the mall with you.

    2. Use a comma after an interjection, such as oh, wow, and ouch                  Wow, you did great on that essay!

    3. Use a comma when directly addressing a specific person.                       Are you going to the movies with us, Andy?

    4. Use a comma to contrast.                                                      I want to see the last Twilight movie, not Harry Potter, this weekend.


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