Monday, June 3, 2013

Comma Part 2

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, we continue with our section on punctuation with Comma Part 2. If you missed part 1, check it out here: Comma Part 1. Without further ado, grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

We already went over using commas in a list (Oxford commas), introductory phrases and words, and with direct addresses. Part 2 will go over clauses. Dependent, independent, and relative. As with my other posts on punctuation, we'll be referencing The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition.

Dependent Clauses:
If you mix up a sentence and put the end before the beginning, it needs a comma (like in the sentence I just gave you). If you were to put the beginning first, it would need no comma. Example: A sentence needs a comma if you mix it up and put the end before the beginning. *Note that the subject/pronoun had to be moved as well. The key here is: If one won't make sense without the other, it's a dependent clause.

When the dependent clause comes after the main idea, no comma is needed; as you can see in the example above.

Two conjunctions together get a comma, but not between conjunctions.

If you're having trouble deciding where to put a comma, or don't know if one should be used, speak the words aloud and see where you pause naturally.

Independent Clauses:
Now here's where it gets a little tricky. If you use a conjunction like and, but, or, so, yet, etc., the comma usually goes before the conjunction. If the two independent clauses are short and related, no comma is needed. Remember to use good judgment here. Examples: Hera ran away, and Zeus gave chase. Hera ran away and Zeus gave chase. Hera ran away. Zeus gave chase. There are three ways to write that sentence. When in doubt, split them out!

Relative Clauses:
There are two kinds of relative clauses: restrictive and nonrestrictive. One is essential to the meaning of the sentence and gets no commas. The other is fluff and gets commas. Anything you can remove from a sentence and not impact the idea is nonrestrictive. Examples: I prepared a report about the impact of waste on the environment that's due tomorrow. I prepared a waste impact report, involving the environment, that's due tomorrow.

As you can see from the examples above, there are a ton of different ways to construct a sentence. Good writers use many different styles to keep the flow and break up monotony.

Join me tomorrow for my last post on commas for this series. While there's a ton of information on this tiny piece of punctuation, I won't go into them all; just the most important ones!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

1 comment:

  1. Only you Jo could write an informative multi-part blog series on commas =) Great information as always!

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