13 Rules For Using Commas Without Looking Like An Idiot

Contrary to popular belief, commas don’t just signify pauses in a sentence.

In fact, precise rules govern when to use this punctuation mark. When followed, they lay the groundwork for clear written communication.

We’ve compiled a list of all of the times when you need the mighty comma.

1. Use a comma before any coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet) that links two independent clauses.

Example: “I went running, and I saw a duck.”

You may need to learn a few grammatical terms to understand this one.

An independent clause is a unit of grammatical organization that includes both a subject and verb and can stand on its own as a sentence. In the previous example, “I went running” and “I saw a duck” are both independent clauses, and “and” is the coordinating conjunction that connects them. Consequently, we insert a comma. See More . . .



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