3 Rules For Using Commas In Writing

3 ways to use a comma in writing

Happy Wednesday, good people!

In line with Writing Tip #1 -- use punctuation marks -- I want to talk about commas. A comma is a punctuation mark that separates words from the rest of a sentence. There are many rules for using commas in writing, but I will only focus on three:

1. Use a comma after the greeting and closing of a letter and/or email

Let's say you're typing an email and you want to start it off with a "Good morning" greeting. Let's say you also want to address the email to someone in particular. If this is the case, then you would follow the greeting with a name; and before you type the name, you would put a comma. For example:

Good morning, Michael B. Jordan

2. Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the adjectives are interchangeable

Let's say you're describing your ideal guy to your grandmother, and your ideal guy just happens to be actor Idris Elba. Well, there are many adjectives that would describe Idris, but for the sake of this example, we'll keep it at two adjectives. You would possibly say:

Idris Elba is a talented, handsome human being.

In the above example sentence, the two adjectives talented and handsome are separated by a comma. Why? Because these two descriptions are interchangeable. They are the same because one is not more powerful than the other; both adjectives carry the same weight.

3. Use a comma before the conjunction in a compound sentence

Let's say you're writing the last sentence in your essay's conclusion paragraph and you want to use a compound sentence but don't know how. Well, like a compound word combines two words, a compound sentence combines two sentences. There is a word in the middle of the two sentences that holds them together, and that word is a conjunction (e.g. and, but, if...). When writing a compound sentence, you must put the comma BEFORE the conjunction. For example:

We went to the beach, and we watched the birds fly.

In the above example sentence, the comma is placed before the conjunction "and".

In conclusion,

punctuation marks can be tricky. Nevertheless, I'm here to help. I don't know all the rules, but I believe we can work together to figure things out. It takes a village, right? No? Okay.

Be brave, writers!

Nailah