Writing – The Breathing Comma

It is alleged that 90% of all writers use a comma appropriately 75% of the time, however just one% of the writers use the comma appropriately 99% of the time. Many folks who write for trade are in that high 90%. The comma is essential. Commas let your writings breathe.

They are the primary tool during which the grouping of phrases, words, and clauses are arrange. Consequently, commas are misused greater than the entire different marks mixed. There are simplest 4 commas, which infrequently appear so much for one of these tough subject. Nevertheless, it’s the 4 that get us all in hassle. The 4 varieties of commas are Omission, Bracket, Listing, and the Joiner.

That was once easy. Now that you already know their names, you understand how to care for every one – proper? Let’s be sure that.

Let’s get started with the Omission Comma.


True to its identify, the omission comma replaces a lacking phrase, maximum ceaselessly “and.” The rule is – if you can not put “and” earlier than the phrase, you then must now not use an Omission comma.

Example: As professors move, previous guy Jerkins is a humdrum, uninspired, tedious lecturer who will put you to sleep underneath two mins.

You can exchange the above sentence just by including a “and” earlier than “tedious lecturer” If you could not put “and” earlier than the phrase, then the comma isn’t wanted.

Example: By taking out one phrase, we render this sentence fallacious. “As professors move, previous guy Jerkins is a humdrum, uninspired, lecturer who will put you to sleep underneath two mins.

“And” can’t be installed entrance of “lecturer,” subsequently the usage of the comma is fallacious. To make the sentence learn proper, we will have to put a comma earlier than uninspired (it passes the “and” check) and a comma after “lecturer.” Example: “As professors move, previous guy Jerkins is a humdrum, uninspired lecturer, who will put you to sleep underneath two mins.

Now why does this one little shift in comma placement paintings so neatly? Say hi to my little pal, the Joining Comma.

Joining Comma

The becoming a member of comma joins impartial clauses. The rule is every a part of the sentence has as a way to stand on its own. Using the instance above, we will be able to take away the comma and rewrite the sentence to learn: “As professors move, previous guy Jerkins is a humdrum, uninspired, lecturer. He will put you to sleep underneath two mins. We had so as to add the topic “He” so as to hyperlink the professor again into the second one sentence, however even with out it, the assumptive matter would have nonetheless been the professor.

Be cautious of becoming a member of commas, they have a tendency to make run on sentences, they’re onerous to regulate, in order that you are feeling like you might be working out of breath when studying, like they are going to by no means finish, by no means letting you forestall lengthy sufficient, and take one little breath.

Whew! Do you spot what I imply? There are no less than two separate sentences within the earlier paragraph. Where would you put the length and get started a brand new sentence? You may additionally use our little pal the record comma to make the above sentence paintings. Let’s check out it.

Listing Commas

An inventory comma is simply because the identify implies – it places issues in a chain or checklist. For instance: The attributes that make Joe Jones a just right candidate for this place are punctuality, a stickler for main points, skilled management, a devoted worker, and a inspiring group chief.

You can not make those phrases stand by myself for the reason that matter will get misplaced, so a “Joining” comma does not paintings, and the commas aren’t “Omission” commas as a result of for those who put “and” in alternative of the commas, then all the sentence turns into awkward and run on. Try it.

Two easy laws for record commas. Rule 1: You have an possibility of striking a comma in entrance of the very last thing continuing the “and” within the very last thing of an inventory. It is an possibility, and proper both means. The rule is – do not let someone chastise you for doing this – it is his or her possibility as neatly.

Rule 2: Do now not position a comma earlier than the primary merchandise within the checklist, or after the very last thing within the checklist.

The Bracket (or parenthetical) Comma

The remaining in our sequence is the bracket comma. Also known as the parenthetical comma it does what it says. It units off part of a sentence that accommodates data that can be great, however now not crucial to that sentence. For instance: In the improvement strategy of the widget, which is able to revolutionize the widget trade, we did not estimate its higher worth to tire producers.

The bracket commas are isolating part of the sentence that, whilst informative, isn’t crucial to creating the sentence paintings, similar to “which is able to revolutionize the widget trade” isn’t crucial to creating this sentence paintings. You may write the sentence: In figuring out the price of the micro widget (which is able to revolutionize the widget trade), we failed to comprehend its higher worth to tire producers. Here the guidelines – whilst informative isn’t required. The matter is the micro widget and its worth to tire manufactures.

The Final Word

As we will be able to see right here, the previous rule of thumb of the usage of a comma anywhere you could take a breath, for those who had been talking the sentence, isn’t solely correct. This rule of thumb does have some benefit as a place to begin, however it is helping to grasp what form of comma is appropriate when modifying your paintings.

Article Source Link via Gary A. Clark