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Punctuation Usage Of Commas In The English Language

Updated on June 19, 2016
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Comma Usage

A comma follows after the writer wants the reader to pause after a name, a word, a succession of words, a phrase or phrases.

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm

A Comma Follows After Succession Of Descriptive Words Or Phrases

Proper writing or speaking must do three things. It must (1) make sense, (2) sound right and (3) feel comfortable. Please note in the following sentence, the punctuation of commas: “The boy appeared courageous when he encountered the big, gray, hairy and red eyed dog. Sometimes when the last description is mentioned, there should not be a comma between the described words before the last described word such as “hairy and red eyed” or like “a phrase or phrases. The word “dog” is the second object immediately following the last described word. A comma is also used after a succession of phrases such as: “I saw the cat run over the food, under the porch, through the gangway, across the street and into the Jefferson’s back yard.

Various Comma Uses

  • The American flag is red, white and blue.
  • There are white stars, a blue shade behind the stars with red and white stripes across.
  • The American flag should stand for unity, justice, equality and fairness for all people of America the beautiful.
  • Take your stand, speak your peace and forever hold your ground.

Some Comma Uses

Hello LaTasha,

That was a great hub on how to cook okra.

(In our HP comments) Hello LaTasha, that was a great hub on how to cook okra.

From a Michael Jackson tune:

Just a little bit of love every day, will surely keep the doctor away.

Why Use A Comma

A comma should be used so that the idea written will not be overlooked. For instance: We went into the cave, through the water, under the rock opening and out to the other side. See http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/adjectives.htm

Comments

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  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 

    3 years ago from Chicago Area

    Always tell a writer pal of mine, "commas are your friend," since he doesn't really understand their function. A tip that I find helpful is consider adding one wherever you would naturally take a breath when reading the words out loud.

  • word55 profile imageAUTHOR

    Al Wordlaw 

    4 years ago from Chicago

    Hi teaches, Thanks for stopping by.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    4 years ago

    I am weak in this area and needed this refresher course. Commas always make me double think when writing!

  • profile image

    LisaKeating 

    4 years ago

    Check out my hub on How to Polish Your Writing. I mention commas and semicolons.

  • firstday profile image

    R Beggs 

    4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

    A nice, quick read. You know I enjoyed this one. Good work.

  • Romeos Quill profile image

    Romeos Quill 

    4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

    Thanks Word; this was really simple to understand and not tedious at all to read.

    Well worth pinning as a reminder.

    All the best bro.

    R.Q.

  • word55 profile imageAUTHOR

    Al Wordlaw 

    4 years ago from Chicago

    Hi Irc7815, Usage of commas? I hope it helps a great deal. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 

    4 years ago from Central Virginia

    I struggle with comma usage from time to time. Thank you for writing an article on it.

  • word55 profile imageAUTHOR

    Al Wordlaw 

    4 years ago from Chicago

    Ok Devika, "Interesting about the comma, I too have a problem with using it." I see but you could have used one in your comment there. Anyway, using commas is not that difficult if you want people to completely understand your point of view in writing of various kinds. Thank you so, for stopping by, by all means. I appreciate you. (See how simple it is to use the comma?)

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Interesting about the comma I too have a problem with using it. Thank you for bringing this up to all writers.

  • word55 profile imageAUTHOR

    Al Wordlaw 

    4 years ago from Chicago

    Hey Jackie and Billybuc, I'm glad you unique writers are in on this and you're gonna become better writers than you are but commas are as important as periods. Don't ignore opportunities to use them. It's best to use them than to leave 'em out.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I notice a lot lately people here at HP will say something like, "I went to the library, and also to the store." Even if it were a longer sentence than I used, that just looks wrong to me. I really was an A English student but that was just shortly after the cave days! lol

    Sorry word, if I am getting on a different track here; just seems the perfect place to ask a long wondered question. I will share again; if it will again. lol

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Oddly, this is my biggest grammatical problem. It's not that I don't know the rules; I just seem to forget them with commas. Thanks for the refresher and reminder.

  • word55 profile imageAUTHOR

    Al Wordlaw 

    4 years ago from Chicago

    Oh no! mr. hollywood, Don't get me started on the use of semicolons (LOL). Are you serious?

  • word55 profile imageAUTHOR

    Al Wordlaw 

    4 years ago from Chicago

    It is never necessary to put a comma before a conjunction because the conjunction used is emphasis enough without the comma before it...

  • misterhollywood profile image

    John Hollywood 

    4 years ago from Hollywood, CA

    Now if I could just figure out when semicolons are able to be used! lol

  • word55 profile imageAUTHOR

    Al Wordlaw 

    4 years ago from Chicago

    Well Jackie, an English teacher did come along and seems to concur with my usage however, not everybody agrees. It depends on how people understand the purpose of the comma. It is basically used to pause or separate certain clauses and phrases. I'm so happy you stopped by. Your writing is over the chart so, all your messages are understood anyway :-). Glad to be of some help!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I meant 'looks like' but not enough time to get that in. Now I am hoping an English teacher does not come along. haha

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I love those comas cause I am bad to run on and on in a sentence. I take advantage of those semicolons; too! I see people use them before and; that does not look right. And likes like a pause to me; lol. Hope some English teacher will happen along and tell us.

  • word55 profile imageAUTHOR

    Al Wordlaw 

    4 years ago from Chicago

    You're welcomed Jodah! Using commas makes a lot of difference when used in the right places! Thanks for visiting.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    4 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Thanks for that word55, the correct placement of commas is not my strong point. I am improving slowly I think.

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