Proper Grammar Check: When to Use a Comma

When should you use a comma and when you should not? This is the question to answer if you do not want to make terrible comma mistakes in your paper. Sometimes it is better to use academic rewriting service, but before that, you need to understand the situation in your writing, maybe it is not as bad as you think.  The following highlights a quick guide on how you can use it properly.


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Quick Guide to Commas

  • Use the comma in separating independent clauses when it is being joined by coordinating conjunctions: but, for, and, yet, so, nor, or. For instance: “Yesterday was his sister’s birthday, so he took him out for a date.”
  • Use the comma after introductory phrases, words and clauses before the main clause. For example: “Because his watch was broken, he was late for his class.”
  • Use a pair of commas in the middle of the sentence in setting off clauses, words, and phrases that are not important to the meaning of a sentence.
  • Do not use the comma in setting off important elements of a sentence, like clauses beginning with “that”. “That” after the noun is always important.
  • Use the comma in separating three or more words, clauses or phrases. For example: “You are inspected, infected, selected and neglected.”
  • Use the comma in separating 2 or more coordinate adjective describing the same noun.
  • Use the comma in setting off phrases at end of sentence referring back to middle or beginning of a sentence.
  • Use the comma in setting off geographical names

When Not to Use Comma

There are introductory elements that do not require a comma. Here are some instances that you should not use the comma:

  • After restrictive appositive phrase
  • After brief prepositional phrase
  • To separate subject from predicate

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Comma Usage

Comma should be used in some cases such as:

  • Separating non-critical words, clauses, and phrases from main clauses. For example: “Turning slowly, he gazed at the window.”
  • Adding phrases to the end of the sentence to mark distinct shift or pause. For example: “He stood frozen, while waves started washing over him.”
  • Comments inserted into the sentence. For example: “She tried to say something to her friends but engrossed on what they are doing, they did not hear her.”
  • When a conjunction joins 2 independent clauses. For example: “He suddenly moved, and the shadow disappeared.”
  • Introduce a quotation. For example: “She heard a voice say, “Great world!”

Understanding the comma needs time because it is a little bit confusing, but the time you know its usage, you never have a hard time.

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