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Using a Comma


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The comma is the shortest pause in the sentence. It is used

1.To separate three or more than three words of the same part of speech in a sentence. The last two words are, however, connected by ‘and’. Commas are usually not used before ‘and’.

2.To separate pairs of words joined by ‘and’.

3.Before and after a vocative.

4.Between Nouns and Pronouns in apposition.

5.To separate an introductory or a transitional word or phrase (example Therefore, however, by the way, for instance, on the contrary etc.) from the rest of sentence.

6.Optionally used to separate Noun Clauses before the verb. In modern English, in such contexts, comma is more often omitted than employed.

7.Optionally used to separate different clauses in a sentence.

8.After an absolute phrase.

9.To indicate the omission of a word, usually a verb (but this comma is not obligatory, it is deletable).

10.Before and after parenthetical remarks (we can also use dashes instead).

11.To separate words like, yes, no, please.

12.After each of the Prepositions referring to a single Noun or Pronoun.

13.To separate a non-restrictive Adjective Clause from the Principal Clause.

14.After figures of date and address.

15.After the salutation in a letter or application.

16.After the ending or subscription of letters and applications.

17.To separate the Reporting Verb from the Reporting Speech.


Sample Usage

Examples of 1.

1.Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley and Keats are famous English poets.
2.Life is to live, love and laugh; not to sigh, sob and sorrow.
3.We fought bravely, boldly, wisely and tactfully.


Examples of 2.

1.In life, joys and sorrows, pleasure and pain, success and failure, sun and shade, beauty and ugliness, go hand and hand.
2.Men and women, boys and girls, the old and the young, were going to the fair.
3.Romeo and Juliet, Sheerin and Farihad, Heer and Ranjha, Laila and Majnu, were great lovers.


Examples of 3.

1.Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you will listen to me.
2.My lord, the accused is telling a lie.
3.My dear, you are mistaken.


Example of 4.

1.Sita, the wife of Rama, was the daughter of Janaka.
2.India, our motherland, is dearer to us than our life.
3.Nathu Ram Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, was sentenced to death.


Examples of 5.

1.Firstly, overpopulation leads to unemployment.
2.Well, you have been selected.
3.A minister is, of course, a servant of the people.


Examples of 6.

1.How long we shall live, we do not know.
2.Who committed the murder, is still a mystery.
3.Which party will win the election, is not clear.


Examples of 7.

1.If you work hard, you will pass.
2.He came, he saw, he conquered.
3.They never die, who die for a noble cause.


Examples of 8.

1.Rain having fallen, the streets were muddy.
2.It being Sunday, all shops were closed.
3.The show having ended, we came out of the hall.


Examples of 9.

1.Ram stood first, Mohan, second.
2.He killed a tiger; you, a mouse.
3.I can speak English; my mother, only Hindi.


Examples of 10.

1.Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, as we all know, was the first Prime Minister of free India.
2.The thief, I have been told, has been arrested.
3.India, let us hope, will progress by leaps and bounds.


Examples of 11.

1.No, I do not agree with you.
2.Yes, we shall go out for a walk.
3.Sorry, I could not come to see you.


Examples of 12.

1.Sheela, is junior to, but wiser than, her brother.
2.A horse is taller than, and superior to, a donkey.
3.You must listen to, and act upon, what he says.


Examples of 13.

1.Students, who are generally careless about studies throughout the year, start working hard during the examination days.
2.I went to the bus-stand, where I met an old friend.


Examples of 14.

1.India won independence on August 15, 1947.
2.He is staying in Room No. 7, Ambassador Hotel, New Delhi.
3.His date of birth is January 3, 1995.


Examples of 15.

1.Dear Father,
2.Dear Sir, Madam,
3.Dear uncle,


Examples of 16.

1.Yours truly,
2.Yours faithfully,
3.Yours sincerely,


Examples of 17.

1.The teacher said, “The sun rises in the east”.
2.He said, “The earth moves around the sun”.
3.He said to me, “You are very lazy”.


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