March 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
Most of us have been taught to “place the comma where you would naturally take a breath.” I’ve called it “the rule of flow” because most students tell me the reason for placing commas in some places and not others is because “it flows.” Reading aloud is definitely a good test for clarity and “flow” in all writing, but what about when you’re not sure? Here are three common uses for commas:
Like when suggesting a coffee shop you might say:
The best place to go for coffee, in case you’re ever on the North Shore, is Honey Donuts.
Like after you celebrate your birthday you would say:
I’m getting too old for parties, but it was worth staying up all night long.
(with a comma because “it was worth staying up all night long” is a complete sentence)
OR you might say:
I’m getting too old for parties and am feeling it today.
(no common because “am feeling it today” is NOT a complete sentence)
In a list of 3+, place a comma after each item except for the last (aka. the “Oxford” or “Serial” Comma).
We painted the house white, grey, and pink.