Brush Up On Your Comma Usage

| September 29, 2011

One of the most common grammar problems that writers have is proper comma usage. Even though, the rules are fairly simple the best of the best can still get tripped up on comma usage. I found this great video that easily sums up the main comma rules in about 6 minutes. Instead of pouring over grammar books, take an occasional break from your writing and brush up on your comma usage while enjoying a video.

  1. Use a comma when two independent clauses (clause that can stand by itself) are linked by a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
  2. Use a comma to separate a list of three or more items.
  3. Use a comma when using two or more adjectives to describe someone or something.
  4. Use a comma when a dependent clause comes before an independent clause.
  5. Use commas when giving extra information in the middle of a sentence, which is called an adjective clause.
  6. Use a comma before a direct quote.
  7. Use a comma before and after a name to get someone’s attention.
  8. Use a comma when using a transition word (therefore, consequently).

You would think after all of those years of Saturday morning School House Rock we would all have these rules down, yet they seem to trip up the best of us.

If any of you have ever done any writing for online services, such as Textbroker you know they can be very strict when it comes to commas. In fact, instead of being frustrated and thinking some editor wouldn’t know good writing if it bit them, it just might be better to learn the rules and go with it. Here is an informative comma article by a Textbroker editor.

Also if you would like a larger list of transition word, which apply to rule number 8, here is a comprehensive list.

The best way to conquer English Grammar and proper writing and punctuation is to work on small sections at a time. There are tons of great resources available online and in the library or bookstore. Here is a glossary of English Grammar Terms that could keep most of us busy for a long time.

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