More errors come from having too many commas than from having too few. Here are five places you need them.
When one of these words connects two sentences, put a comma before it.
The lead actor was on crutches, but the show went on.
Gina intended to win the weight-lifting pageant, and that's
exactly what she did.
The house didn't sell at $300,000, so they lowered the
However, don't automatically stick in a comma just because a sentence is long.
No one at the paint factory could have guessed that the
boss would one day be a famous writer.
Use commas between parts of a series of three or more.
In one month the game farm saved the lives of a red fox, a
great-horned owl, and a black bear cub.
Greg climbed the ladder, marched to the end of the
diving board, took a big spring, and came down in a
In the class sat a bearded man, a police officer, a woman
eating a sandwich, and a parakeet.
(Without the last comma, what happens to the parakeet?) Don't use a comma in a pair.
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Publication information: Book title: Shortcuts for the Student Writer. Contributors: Jay Silverman - Author, Elaine Hughes - Author, Diana Roberts Wienbroer - Author. Publisher: McGraw-Hill. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2005. Page number: 38.
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