Okay, those are
the big five.
Now for a quick review:
- First, remember
what we said at the beginning: you must justify each comma you use.
If you don't have a specific reason for using a comma, you probably don't
want it there.
- Second, remember
the big five reasons for using commas we've covered:
YOU MUST HAVE A REASON FOR EACH COMMA YOU USE.
Use commas with...
IE - Introductory
element is a word, phrase, or clause before the main part of the sentence.
It usually tells us something about the main clause.
CE - Contrasting
- If we cannot control our tempers, we may have to
bite those mimes.
- On the other hand, they may bite us first.
to set up the contrast. Key words: but, yet, not, never, although
Wilma, not Betty, has a necklace made of rocks.
21C - Two
"compound sentences") When two independent clauses are joined with a coordinating
(and not any other kind of) conjunction, place a comma before the conjunction.
The Misfit takes the son's shirt, and he shoots the grandmother.
CA - Compound
(or Coordinate) Adjectives
to separate consecutive adjectives:
The closet was full of old, worn clothes.
Do not, however, use a comma when
the order of the adjectives matters (i.e., when you can't simply reverse
them without seriously changing the meaning):
We were suspicious of the fried green tomatoes.
fried green tomatoes may taste good, but green fried tomatoes might make
NRE - Non-Restrictive
elements are the ones known, often misleadingly, as "the part you could just
take out": parenthetical comments, direct address, appositives, transitional
words and phrases, etc.
The pressure of being a clown was enough, it seems,
to make even a brave man weep.
They can also appear at the end
of a sentence:
He wanted to run into the airplane propeller, an act
that would have dramatically shortened his life expectancy.
Intro, Get Started, IE, CE,