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5. Essential information doesn’t require commas.
If removed from the sentence, the meaning is changed or the identifying/distinguishing fact is lost.
- Incorrect: The young boys, who vandalized the park, are in police custody.
- Correct: The young boys who vandalized the park are in police custody.
6. Direct addresses are set off by commas.
- Incorrect: The book is on the table Danielle.
- Correct: The book is on the table, Danielle.
7. A comma isn’t needed when a coordinating conjunction isn’t connecting two independent clauses or separating three or more items/actions.
- Incorrect: Charlie ran to Danny’s house, and knocked on the door.
- Correct: Charlie ran to Danny’s house and knocked on the door.
8. A commas isn’t used when a dependent (or subordinate) clause follows an independent clause; however, use a comma after a dependent (or subordinate) clause when it comes before an independent clause.
- Incorrect: Paul and Linda enjoyed the hike, despite the rain.
- Correct: Paul and Linda enjoyed the hike despite the rain.
- Correct: Despite the rain, Paul and Linda enjoyed the hike.
9. Interrupters (words, phrases, or clauses that significantly break the flow of a sentence) are set off by commas.
- Incorrect: Nancy of course was late again.
- Correct: Nancy, of course, was late again.
- Incorrect: Martin’s bedroom was to say the least a pigsty.
- Correct: Martin’s bedroom was, to say the least, a pigsty.
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