Comma Usage - Darton College

Comma Usage - Darton College

COMMAS AFTER INTRODUCTORY SENTENCEELEMENTS Insert a comma after sentence-opening words:• Yes, I would like more cake. Insert a comma after a sentence-opening participleor a participle phrase (a participle is a word formedfrom a verb and is used as an adjective oradjectival phrase):• Married, Tom and Lacey embarked on their honeymoon.• Burying their loot under a big tree, the robbers plottedtheir escape.

COMMAS WITH MORE INTRODUCTORYSENTENCE ELEMENTS Use a comma after sentence-opening prepositionalphrases:• About an hour after midnight, the restaurant was stillcrowed, noisy, and smoky.• In my line of sight just on the edge of the horizon, Ispotted the lone wolf. Insert a comma after sentence-opening dependentclauses:• When it is time to retire, Sheila will move to Tenerife,Spain, to enjoy the perpetual summer.• Although she will miss her family, she is looking forwardto the next chapter of her life.

COMMA USAGE WITH INTERRUPTERS Interrupters break the natural flow of sentences.• Nonessential clauses (discussed in detail on Slide 7):Thomas Bayes, a talentless vicar but brilliantmathematician, lived in the 18 th century (Bryson 2). Direct address:• Fluffy, please take your paws off the table.• Can I help you, madam?• Sir, yes, Sir!

COMMAS WITH DATES AND ADDRESSES Look at the following variations and note thepresence and absence of the comma:• July 19, 2012• 19 July 2012• July 2012 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC The most common, erroneously omitted comma isthe one that comes after a date or an address:• My paternal grandfather was born on October 2, 1916,during the tumultuous years of World War I.• Kate has just bought the house at 75 W. 31 st Street,close to downtown Chicago.

WORK CITEDBryson, Bill. Seeing Further: The Story of Science,Discovery, and the Genius of the RoyalSociety. New York, HarperCollins, 2010. Print.

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