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comma (,)

Use the comma:

  1. To separate distinct, independent statements in a compound sentence.

  2. To separate a series of words or phrases having equal value and not connected by conjunctions. In a series, do not omit the comma before the word "and."

  3. To separate a series of adjectives or adverbs that are equal in value and are not connected by conjunctions.

  4. To set off a long dependent clause preceding its principal clause.

  5. To precede nonrestrictive relative clauses introduced by "who," "which," and similar pronouns. The pronoun "that" is frequently used in a restrictive sense and does not require a comma preceding it.

  6. To set apart a parenthetical expression. Do not isolate by parenthetical commas a phrase essential to the meaning of the sentence.

  7. To separate the year in a complete date from the continuation of the sentence: June 14, 1981, was his graduation.

  8. To separate the name of the state, following mention of the city located within its borders, from the rest of the sentence.

  9. When the thought is broken by a connective, such as "however," "obviously," or "namely."

  10. To avoid a confused reading of a sentence.


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