What will you do today in observance of National Grammar Day? I’m revisiting the comma.
It amazes me how people struggle with comma placement. It’s simple, logical, and important to place commas correctly. Here are some basic rules to remember.
- Separate two independent clauses joined by a conjunction with a comma. The hotel room was tiny, but the rate was ridiculously high.
- Separate independent clauses that are not joined by a conjunction with a period. (Or ! or ?) The hotel room was tiny. The rate was ridiculously high.
- Separate introductory elements from an independent clause with a comma. That evening, we crashed in our tiny hotel room.
- Do not use a comma to offset an element that is essential to the meaning of the independent clause. We were packed and ready to leave when the bellhop arrived.
- Avoid commas within clauses. What we liked best about the hotel was its workout room.
There are other rules about comma use, but master these first and you’ll be well on your way to grammar goodness. March forth on March fourth!