Comma is is an important grammatical tool which is used to figure out which words have to go together in a sentence and which parts in a sentence are more important. Using commas incorrectly user may confuse the reader and the importance of the sentence.
To separate words, in a list, though they are often omitted before and. For example:
- A bouquet of red, pink and white roses.
- Tea, coffee, milk or hot chocolate.
To separate phrases and clauses. For example:
If you keep calm, take you time, concentrate and think ahead, then you are likely to pass your test.
Before and after a clause or phrase that gives additional, but not essential, information about the noun it follows. For example:
- The Pennine Hills, which are very popular with walkers, are situated between Lancashire and Yorkshire.
- NOTE: Do not use commas before and after a clause that defines the noun. Example: The hills that separate Lancashire from Yorkshire are called the Penninies.
To separate main clauses, especially long ones, linked by conjunction such as and, as, but, for, or. Example:
We had been looking forward to our holiday all year, but unfortunately it rained every day.
To separate an introductory word or phrase, or an adverb or an adverbial phrase that applies to the whole sentence, from the rest of the sentence. Example:
- Oh, so that’s where it was.
- As it happens, however, I never saw her again.
- By the way, did you hear about Rakesh’s car?
To separate a tag question from the rest of the sentence. For example:
- You live in Bristol, right ?
- It’s quite expensive, isn’t it ?
Before or after ‘he said’, etc. while writing down conversation. Example:
‘Come back soon’, she said.
Before a short quotation. For example:
Disraeli said, ‘Little things affect little minds’.
If in single part of speech, there are three words and they come one after another then comma is used. If there is and/or in the last, no comma is used. For example:
He is always eating, drinking and dancing.
If a word is repeated, comma is used. For example:
Go, go, I don’t need you.
Sometimes in a sentence there are words, where comma is required to avoid confusion. For example:
- What he is, is known to me.
- What he does, does not suit me.
- What he did, was quite clear.
- What should be done, should be done.
Before and after apposition. For example:
- I, Mohan, am a student.
- Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, was a great man.
- He, the son of a rich man, is very proud.
in fact, in short, for example, therefore, however, of course, too, moreover, for instance, on the contrary, by the way, comma is used. For example:
- In fact, he is a good singer.
- I love you, too.
- I, too, have been to Paris.
NOTE: If too is used as adverb of degree, comma is not used. For example:
- This is too much for me.
- The news is too good to be true.
After dates comma is used. Example:
- April 20, 2017.
- 20 April, 2017
If only month and year is given, comma may be used or not. For Example:
- He was born in March, 2010.
- He was born in March 2010.
After salutation and words of leave-taking comma is used. For example:
- Dear Suresh,
- Yours sincerely,
- Yours faithfully,
- Yours truly
- Sincerely yours,
In case of name and title comma is used. Example:
- Pro.T.P.Sinha, M.A.,Ph.D. has joined today.
- Sri Singh, I.A.S. is our new S.D.O.
In some sentence, verb is missing. Use comma after subject. For example:
- I like fish; my friend, chicken.
- I am going today; you, never.
- He is a Rajput; she, a Brahmin.
TO separate co-ordinate clauses in a compound sentence. For example:
- He came, he saw, and he conquered.
- I came, I saw, I conquered.
Use of comma with respect to adverbial phrase, participle phrase, absolute phrase. For example:
- At present, I have nothing to care for.
- At last, he succeeded.
- Having worked hard, he felt tired.
Use of comma with respect to adverbial clause, non-finite/verb-less construction. For example:
- If he comes to me, I shall help him.
- When I was bachelor, I lived by myself.
- When in Rome, do as the Romans do.