Grammar, grammar.

 

How many times have you seen the example on the right? Commas are important. Let’s try to get them right.

There is one common feature that all commas have: they are used whenever you want your reader to pause and take a breath.

Try reading aloud the sentences below (whisper them if you’re worried about what people might think when they hear you talking to yourself). You’ll find you’ll be pausing for breath exactly where the commas are.

Today I’ll give you 3 quick tips on common comma usage:

1. Use them to list things.

I need to buy bread, milk, coffee, sugar and eggs.

2. Use them to join two complete sentences together, but only if helped by a joining word (such as: and, or, but, if, yet, while).

I am going to let you into a secret, but you must promise to keep quiet.

3. Use them in place of brackets.

I wanted to teach you something that, when necessary, could save you some trouble.

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5 Replies to “Grammar, grammar.”

      1. I only do that in my books if my character is yelling a question at someone. (?!) Is that not allowed? What would be the correct way to do that? “Why did you do that?” she shouted. Like that, instead of the double punctuation?

        1. You never double punctuate. An exclamation mark in itself is a shout. No need to shout louder. Your dialogue will tell the reader how much shock to register. Punctuation is meant to aid, not replace writing.
          Sorry, babe. No doubles allowed. 🙂

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