November 9th, 2010
There’s nothing straightforward about the rules for using commas in U.S. English. Commas have more uses than any other punctuation mark, we use commas more often than any other punctuation mark, and they’re the most difficult punctuation mark to use correctly every single time.
Commas keep sentence parts from bumping into one another and creating misunderstandings. Your readers need to see correctly placed commas to navigate their way through your sentences and quickly grasp your meaning.
In the hundreds of writing workshops we’ve taught over the years, people ask us about commas more often than any other punctuation topic.
Just Commas: A Write It Well Guide is our new online, free e-learning module to answer these questions. It covers rules for correct comma usage in these nine situations:
Rule 1: For Items in a Series
Rule 2: Between Two Clauses
Rule 3: For Introductory Words
Rule 4: For Nonessential Clauses
Rule 5: For Transitional Expressions
Rule 6: Between Adjectives
Rule 7: For Quotations
Rule 8: For Dates, Addresses, and Numbers
Rule 9: With Other Punctuation