7 Comma Rules Every Writer Should Know

Posted by @audreylaine, Fri, Oct 5 8:47am

Commas are tiny yet potent details you must pay a laser-like attention to, so check out the seven comma rules every writer should know. Hopefully, re-learning how to correctly use commas will help you eliminate the chance of embarrassment from making these dangerous grammatical errors.

  1. You can only connect two complete sentences with a comma if there’s a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), which are also called FANBOYS, between them.
  2. Use a comma to link an incomplete sentence with a complete sentence.
  3. Use the Oxford comma.
  4. Use a comma between two coordinate adjectives that describe the same noun.
  5. Use a comma to highlight additional, non-essential information about a noun.
  6. Make sure you place commas correctly in quotes.
  7. Put a comma before “while” to contrast two things.

Curator’s Note: As someone who’s been called a “comma queen” and a “grammar nazi,” I LOVE this list. I want to print and hang it in my cubicle!

COMMENT

YES to the Oxford comma!

@NatalieR

YES to the Oxford comma!

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I'm with you, @NatalieR, but what does the AP style guide say? That's always been a huge conflict.

You are right, the AP style guide doesn't require use of the Oxford comma. But I think the example in this article makes a pretty strong case for it!

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