Sometimes punctuation in writing can be overlooked, but in reality, it saves lives.
Without the commas in this sentence, grandma would be dead by now. Commas are important for creating things, such as lists or pauses in writing. You can go from liking “cooking your dog and your family” to liking “cooking, your dog, and your family”. Unless you’re a cannibal, it is vital to add commas into your work when necessary.
By misusing commas, your sentences may convey unintended and disturbing meanings. Even in text messages, the lack of the use of commas may cause some terrifying misconceptions.
This is Brittany. Brittany doesn’t use commas correctly. Brittany gave heart boyfriend a heart attack. Don’t be like Brittany.
Even people on social media underestimate the importance of commas, thus leading to strange demands.
It may be difficult to realize when exactly your work requires commas, but in circumstances much like these, it is obvious that a grammar lesson or twelve is needed. Not to worry! For those of you who need a refresher on when to use commas, here are some comma rules to keep in mind while writing.
- When writing, it is a rule of thumb to utilize commas after the first clause of your sentence. For example:
I was very tired, but I didn’t go to sleep.
Coordinating conjunctions such as: so, for, and, but, nor, and yet often follow the comma placed at the end of the first clause.
- Use commas after introductory clauses, phrases, or words that come before the main clause. Common starter words include: after, although, as, because, if, since, when, while. For example:
While I was dancing, the phone rang.
- Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. For example:
I love my cat, however, he drives me insane.
By doing this you’re emphasizing your love/hate relationship with your cat by surrounding the word “however” with commas.
- Use commas to separate a series of three or more words, clauses, or phrases.
In the morning, I make my bed, brush my teeth, comb my hair, and eat.
Or in the example from above I like cooking, my dog, and my family.
- Use commas to separate two or more coordinate adjectives that describe the same noun.
The warm, starry night was beautiful.
- Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinate elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift.
You’re my best friend, right?
If only these people who made those embarrassing grammar mistakes had known these rules and their importance. A simple punctuation mark like a comma can change a whole sentence, and even improve a whole paper. Although not using commas doesn’t seem like the end of the world, remember, it can save lives.