Uses of comma in a simple sentence

December 4, 2011pdf

The comma is the shortest pause between words.

The comma has the following uses in a simple sentence.

To mark off nouns, pronouns or phrases in apposition

  •  James, my neighbor, is a doctor.
  • Wordsworth, the famous English poet, was a lover of nature.

To mark off each one of a series of words belonging to the same part of speech

  • He spoke easily, clearly and eloquently.
  • The children laughed, danced, jumped and cried for joy.

A comma is generally not placed before a word preceded by and.

  • The farmer owned sheep, cattle and poultry.

To mark off a nominative of address

  • Doctor, the patient is ill.
  • Gentleman, I bring good news.

After a nominative absolute

  • God willing, we shall meet again.

To mark off a direct quotation from the rest of the sentence

  • ‘I am not tired,’ said James, ‘but I am very hungry.’

To separate each pair of words connected by ‘and’

  • Young and old, high and low, rich and poor, all praised the little boy’s clever tricks.

Before and after words, phrases and clauses let into the body of a sentence.

  • His conduct, to say the least, was disgusting.
  • He did not, however, agree.

The following words and expressions are also separated from the rest of the sentence by means of a comma: at least, indeed, well, all the same, however, of course, on the whole, in short, in particular etc.

Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."