Commas. Where do they go? Why did I throw one there? Does this phrase need one? Are seventeen commas in one sentence too many??? (Yes.)
I consider myself at intermediate level when it comes to comma placement. No matter how much I edit, I always find spots where I’ve misplaced them.
Are you a comma master?
Since I’m in the line-edit phase of a project, I’m overthinking the whole comma thing. Yesterday I got out my cheat sheet, a grammar book, and a CMOS style guide. I still had to look up specific examples online!
Let’s tackle the basics (thank you, Jan R., for graciously sharing these with me years ago!).
- before a coordinating conjunction joining independent clauses.
- after introductory phrase, especially if dependent.
- between items in a series.
- between coordinate adjectives.
- on either side of a nonrestrictive word group.
- to set off parenthetical expressions.
- in dates, addresses, titles, etc…
- where there might be confusion without one.
For a more thorough breakdown of comma usage, are a few sites I’ve bookmarked.
How are you with commas? Do you have any tips, sites, or books to recommend? I’d love to hear!