1. My favourite opera composers are Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, and Gilbert and Sullivan. (Here, the comma before and shows that Gilbert and Sullivan worked together, rather than Mozart and Gilbert.)
2. Italy is famous for her composers and musicians, France for her chefs and philosophers, and Poland for her mathematicians and logicians.
3. You can fly to Bombay via Moscow, via Athens or via Cairo. (British usage prefers no listing comma before the or.)
3.a. You can fly to Bombay via Moscow, via Athens, or via Cairo. (American usage prefers a listing comma before the or.)
4. The Three Musketeers were Athos, Porthos and Aramis. (British usage: no comma before the word and.)
4.a. The Three Musketeers were Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. (American usage prefers a listing comma before the and.)
RULES: Use wherever you could use the word and (or or) instead. Use before and or or only if necessary to make the meaning clear.
1. Norway has applied to join the EC, and Sweden is expected to do the same.
2. You must hand in your essay by Friday, or you will receive a mark of zero.
3. Billions of dollars have been hurled into the building projects, yet we have nothing to show for this colossal expenditure.
4. A dropped goal counts three points in rugby union, while in rugby league it only counts one point.
RULES: Use to join two complete sentences into a single sentence. It must be followed by a suitable connecting word (and, or, but, yet, while).
1. Jupiter is the largest planet and Pluto, the smallest. (Comma replaces is.)
2. Some Norwegians wanted to base their national language on the speech of the capital city; others, on the speech of the rural countryside. (Comma replaces the words wanted to base their national language.)
3. Italy is famous for her composers and musicians, France, for her chefs and philosophers, and Poland, for her mathematicians and logicians. (Commas replace the words is famous for her; commas not in bold are listing commas.)
RULES: Shows that one or more words have been left out.
Bracketing comma (also called isolating commas)
1. Schliemann, of course, did his digging before modern archaeology was invented.
2. Darwin’s Origin of Species , published in 1859, revolutionized biological thinking.
3. New Delhi, itself created as an enormous Imperial emblem, was now a jumble-sale of little emblems of small authority.
4. Stanley was a determined, even ruthless, figure.
RULES: Most frequently used type of comma, they are always found in pairs. They are used to mark an interruption that does not disturb the smooth flow of the sentence.
|Last modified:||15 September 2017 9.00 p.m.|