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When to use comma in a sentence? Options
Sanjay
Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2017 4:04:12 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/25/2010
Posts: 33
Neurons: 3,351
Hi Experts,

Hope you all are doing well.

I need inputs from you when we have to use a comma in a sentence.

I read so many articles but no luck.

Please help me in this.

Regards,
Sanjay
Sanjay
Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2017 6:35:38 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/25/2010
Posts: 33
Neurons: 3,351
Anyone please?
Romany
Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2017 7:27:48 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,147
Neurons: 36,928
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Sanjay,

I think the question of commas is one that seems to bedevil many learners. I've seen learners offer each other pages of advice and grammar "rules"; and seen heaps of sites/books sent on for them to go and find out more.

But, if you look back, you'll see that native speakers all seem to say the same thing: - a comma is put in to represent a breath pause. That's it, really. Just that.

So what's a breath pause? It's where, when we speak, we would draw a breath.

If you read the two sentences above the question mark shows it's a question i.e. the mark represents the way our voice, when speaking the sentence, would go up. In the next sentence the two marks of commas show how our voices pause just for a mini-second so that the meaning is clear to the person we're speaking to.

So, when you've written a sentence, SAY it (don't 'read' it) in the natural voice that is used for conversation. Wherever (if ever) you hear yourself pause a little, you indicate this with a comma. If you don't have to pause, you don't need a comma.

There once used to be a whole lot of 'rules' and 'guides' and lessons on commas - but those days are long gone now. If you read things written up to about 20yrs ago you'll see a lot more commas in the sentences than exist in modern prose.

P.S. - Just a little tip - weekends are traditionally times we spend with family or catching up on things we couldn't do during the week due to work pressures etc. Remember, everyone here helps everyone else IN THEIR OWN TIME. It isn't like a job where someone always has to be on duty.

So weekends are as precious to all of us here as they are anywhere else. It's the time when the majority of us have LESS time to spend on TFD and MORE time to spend with family and friends. No matter how many time one repeats a request for someone to answer them, if we are off doing the weekly shopping, or at the beach with our families etc. etc. we will neither see it nor have time.

I promise, everyone here does their best; they get around to answering questions when they have free time, and they really ENJOY doing so. But on weekends that free time is usually taken up with personal concerns. So have a little patience - when it's possible someone will always answer.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2017 7:29:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 26,242
Neurons: 139,836
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
There are many rules, and they do not always agree. Punctuation is somewhat a matter of style rather than grammar and different editors and institutions have different 'style guides'.

I know a couple of rules which are always agreed upon.

1. Conditional sentences usually have the condition ('if clause') separated from the result clause by a comma - but not if the 'if clause' comes after the result in the sentence.
If you eat bad food, you may become ill.
If he started travelling at six, he should have arrived by now.
He should have arrived by now if he started travelling at six.

Some forms of conditional don't use the word 'if', but the rule still applies.
When you eat bad food, you become ill.
You become ill when you eat bad food.


2. When you are writing a sentence using a relative clause, it has commas if the relative clause is just additional data and not vital to the understanding of the sentence.
There are three houses there. My house, which has a green door, is the middle one.
"My house" defines the house, so 'which has a green door' is not vital to the sentence.
There are three houses there. My house is the middle one.

If the relative clause defines the noun, it does not use commas. (It is also permissible in most styles, and mandatory in some styles, to use 'that' instead of 'which'.)
There are three houses there. The house which has a green door is mine.
There are three houses there. The house that has a green door is mine.
In this one, 'which has a green door' defines which house you mean.
The sentence doesn't make sense without it (so no commas).
There are three houses there. The house is mine.

If you are used to speaking English, a very useful 'rule' is "When you pause while speaking, you usually put a comma when writing."

EDITED to add:
I wrote all this without seeing Romany's post - I started typing before she hit the 'Post' button.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Sanjay
Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2017 7:37:21 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/25/2010
Posts: 33
Neurons: 3,351
Thanks, Romany and Dragonspeaker for your answers.

@Romany-From now onwards, I do take care, Thanks.


Romany
Posted: Sunday, July 09, 2017 5:10:32 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,147
Neurons: 36,928
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Sanjay -

Dancing Dancing Dancing
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Sunday, July 09, 2017 5:36:51 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2016
Posts: 1,101
Neurons: 64,192
Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
DragOsir what a beautiful statement.



"There are many rules, and they do not always agree. Punctuation is somewhat a matter of style rather than grammar and different editors and institutions have different 'style guides'."

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
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