Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Tiny Comma Trick for Thursday

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, I'm bringing you a little trick that'll help you keep your commas straight. I'm not talking about the format; this is about where to put those little boogers in your sentences. So grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Commas are a major problem for a lot of authors. Where the heck do they go? Why do they go there?

Here are three common comma issues and how to keep them straight.

A comma to separate two independent clauses joined by and, but, or, so, etc...

If the first part of the segment is a complete sentence, and the second part of the segment is a complete sentence, use a comma. An easy way to check:

Gail went to the store, and she bought everything she needed for dinner.

Separate it:

Gail went to the store. She bought everything she needed for dinner.

Correct.

Gail went to the store, and bought everything she needed for dinner.

Separate it:

Gail went to the store. Bought everything she needed for dinner.

Incorrect.

See how easy that was to check? Now you know.

A comma used to offset a clause.

If you can take the piece out of the sentence and everything still makes sense, surround it with comma love. Example:

I strolled down the boardwalk, my shoelaces slapping at the wood, until I got to the candy shop.

Take out what's inside the commas and see if it makes sense.

I strolled down the boardwalk until I got to the candy shop.

Correct.

I strolled down the boardwalk, to meet Adam, who'd invited me to dinner.

Take out the commas.

I strolled down the boardwalk who'd invited me to dinner.

Incorrect.

Last, but not least, commas for introductory or unneeded words.

If you can remove the word and the sentence still make sense, it gets commas. Last, First, then, too, okay, etc... Example:

Today, I'm bringing you a little trick that'll help you keep your commas straight.

Remove the introductory word.

I'm bringing you a little trick that'll help you keep your commas straight.

Correct.

I wanted to go to the store, too!

Remove the unneeded word.

I wanted to go to the store!

Correct.

I hope that helps.

Did you know these quick tips? Do you struggle with commas?

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

Jo

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Glad I could clear it up, Elizabeth! :) Thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog!

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  2. Those are some great tips. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patricia. Always happy to share. Welcome to the fray! :)

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