COMMAS The Power of the Comma COMMAS The comma can appear several times in the same sentence, performing many different functions that help give that sentence greater structure, stability, and clarity. POWERS OF THE COMMA 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
List a series List multiple adjectives To address After introductory words Join sentences with a conjunction THE POWER TO LIST A SERIES Whenever there is a list of items in a sentence, they can be separated by commas to show that each separate item is acting as an equal component
of the same list. When commas are used in this way, they are often called serial commas. Examples: My powers give me strength, speed, and X-ray vision. Cameras, alarms, and sensors are included in our security system. THE POWER TO LIST MULTIPLE ADJECTIVES Nouns can be described or modified,
with more than one adjective. Multiple adjectives can be separated by commas, and this shows that each multiple adjective is acting as a separate modifier for the same word. Examples: Do not press that large, ominous button. This hairy, smelly, drooling creature is my friend. THE POWER TO ADDRESS
Anytime a sentence is directly addressing a person or group of people, that person or group of people needs to be set apart from the rest of the sentence with a comma. Direct addresses can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. Examples: Dr. Brainstorm, your schemes are always brilliant. You, Captain Hijinks, are my hero. THE POWER TO ADDRESS
If a person being addressed in a sentence is not properly set aside with a comma, it can change the meaning of the sentence, and that can cause confusion. Example: Lets eat, Grandma. This sentence is addressing Grandma and is informing her it is time to eat. Lets
eat Grandma. In this sentence Grandma is the one being eaten! THE POWER TO INTRODUCE Words such as yes, well, and no are called introductory words when they begin a sentence. Always use a comma after an introductory word. Examples: Yes, I have superpowers. Well, will you save the universe?
No, I cant by myself. THE POWER TO ADDRESS AND INTRODUCE Sometimes you may use introductory words and nouns in direct address in the same sentence. Examples: Yes, Captain Hijinks, the crook took the girls wallet. No, Dr. Brainstorm, Sarah Johnson has mutant powers.
THE POWER TO JOIN SENTENCES Commas with coordinating conjunctions can be used to join two or more independent clauses. Examples: You win this battle, but well meet again. I struck him with all my might, yet he still stands.
Commas with subordinating conjunctions can be used to join a dependent clause before the independent clause. Examples: After I capture you, you wont be laughing. Until justice is served, I will not rest.
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