Grammar Checker

Comma

Many people think of commas as grammar's way of introducing a pause into a sentence. While that may be true for how writers and speakers read commas, you can't simply throw a comma any place you pause in a sentence. There are strict rules that govern when you can (and can't) use commas.

Let's explore some of the most common usages for commas.

Put a comma before any coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet) that links two independent clauses.

  • Example: I went to the grocery store, and I went shopping for shoes.

Put a comma after a dependent clause that occurs at the beginning of a sentence.

  • When I went to the grocery store, I bought some bread.

Use commas to separate items in a series.

  • I bought bread, milk, and apples at the grocery store.

Use a comma after an introductory adverb.

An introductory adverb occurs at the beginning of the sentence and answers a question about how something happened.

  • Finally, I got to the front of the checkout line at the grocery store.

Use a comma when you attribute a quote.

Attributing a quote is when you give credit to the person who said it. In the below example, you're attributing the quotation to "mom."

  • My mom said, "You should go to the grocery store."

Use a comma when the first word of your sentence is "yes" or "no."

  • Yes, I went to the grocery store.

Use a comma when you directly address someone (or something) in a sentence.

  • Rose, did you go to the grocery store?

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