How To Use Commas

Many writers think it is a good idea to sprinkle commas every few places in
there writing, but this makes for difficult reading.

Here are some places commas should not be used:

* After and, but, and or, unless the comma sets off a dependent clause (a phrase
which can\'t stand alone as a sentence).


Wrong- But, she did get it done on time.
Right- But, to be fair, she did get it done on time.

* Between a month and year in a date: NOT November, 1990, The comma stops two
sets of numerals from running into one another. WRIGHT November 20, 1990.

* Some style guides call for omitting the comma after very short dependent
clauses at the beginning of a sentence: NOT “On Saturday, the office is closed.”
WRIGHT “On Saturday the office is closed.” But do use a comma after long
dependent causes: “Because the entire epic is concerned with justifying the ways
of God to man, Milton must present free will in a positive light.”

* Commas are preferred before the last item in a list: leaving them out, as in “
the first, second and third chapters,” is a habit picked up from journalism.
Though it saves a little space and effort, omitting the final comma suggests the
second and third chapters are some sort of special pair.

Category: English