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  1. #1
    Matt Austin

    Proper use of commas?

    I receieved such a helpful reply on my question about contractions that I decided to try it again.

    My questions this time are about commas.
    Are there any firm rules as to where and when they should be placed in a sentence? It seems like a silly question but when I read some (published) books I find poor comma placement can really throw the reader.
    When I write, I find myself struggling with where to put them. I'm not even sure if I put the comma in the right place in the last sentence. Was one even needed?

    Will a potential publisher help you with this problem, or will your work be rejected more quickly?

  2. #2
    Sail Away

  3. #3
    Sail Away

    Re: Proper use of commas?

    Rats. Messed up on the html.


  4. #4
    Jeanne Gassman

    Re: Proper use of commas?


    This thread lists several good resources for help with grammar:



  5. #5
    Carmel C

    Re: Proper use of commas?

    And yes in your post you need a comma after "question" and before "but."

    When I write, I find myself struggling with where to put them
    The above is correct. Although you do not strictly need one to separate an introductory clause of three or less words. However, using one can "make sense to the ear." Hearing where your pauses are can help tremendously in placing commas where they make sense, and where they do the most good.

    It remains a tedious task por moi.

  6. #6
    Michael Scott

    Re: Proper use of commas?

    Don't get me started on commas! I use far too many, however I will not accept that it is wrong. That's actually the way that I speak. But believe, the comma argument has ranged since way back. Even between English and American English, it differs slightly. For example, I use an Oxford comma. People still try to tell me that it's use is wrong. e.g.

    Two beers, a gin and tonic, a coke, and a JD.

    The last comma is an Oxford Comma.

  7. #7
    Tim Underwood

    Re: Proper use of commas?

    My advice would be to leave them out if you are unsure. Use a good grammar program or hire a person to review the grammar in your manuscript when you are done. That makes it easy.

    I don't like reading text with lots of commas. It gets annoying and confusing.

    How you speak isn't how you or others read. Do you really want to insert "[take a breath]" all over your dialog so that the reader reads it the way you would say it?


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