“A cat has claws at the end of its paws.
A comma’s a pause at the end of a clause.”
- Rule 1
To avoid confusion, use commas to separate words and word groups with a series of three or more.
My $10 million estate is to be split among my husband, daughter, son, and nephew.
removing the comma after son would indicate that the son and nephew would have to split one-third of the estate.
- Rule 2
Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the word and can be inserted between them.
He is a strong, healthy man.
- Rule 3
Use a comma when an -ly adjective is used with other adjectives.
NOTE: To test whether an -ly word is an adjective, see if it can be used alone with the noun. If it can, use the comma.
Felix was a lonely, young boy.
- Rule 4
Use commas to set off expressions that interrupt sentence flow.
I am, as you have probably noticed, very nervous about this.
- Rule 5
When starting a sentence with a weak clause, use a comma after it.
If you are not sure about this, let me know now.
- Rule 6
Use a comma after phrases of more than three words that begin a sentence. If the phrase has fewer than three words, the comma is optional.
To apply for this job, you must have previous experience.
- Rule 7
Use a comma to separate two strong clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction–and, or, but, for, nor. You can remove the comma if the clauses are both short.
I have painted the entire house, but he is still working on sanding the doors.
- Rule 8
Use a comma to separate a statement from a question.
I can go, can’t I?
- Rule 9
Use a comma when beginning sentences with introductory words such as well, now, or yes.
Yes, I do need that report.
- Rule 10
Use commas surrounding words such as therefore and however when they are used as interrupters.
I would, therefore, like a response.
This is only 10 of the vast list of Comma rules, however, these are the most important. I have left out rules such as surrounding a name by commas, as these are general knowledge.