Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma Chameleon
By Rory C. Keel
For me the correct place for using a comma seems as elusive as a chameleon. Hidden somewhere between subordinate clauses, independent clauses and coordinating conjunctions, the comma hangs out waiting for a slight pause.
Here are five basic rules to help in using a comma.
- Never place a comma between a subject and its verb or between a verb and its object.
- When a subordinate clause introduces an independent clause, separate the two with a comma.
- Don’t use a comma to separate the clauses when a subordinate clause follows an independent clause.
- Use a comma before the appropriate coordinating conjunction to join two related sentences.
- When in doubt, leave it out.
Remembering these basic rules will help you put them where they belong and leave them out where they don’t.