Using Commas

Tips on using commas

When writing compound sentences, use a comma before the coordinating conjunction.

  • John went to the bank, and he went to the post office.
  • It was raining hard, but he stayed dry.

When writing complex sentences, use a comma when the subordinating clause is first.

  • Although the test was canceled, John still studied at the library.
  • Because the textbooks did not come, the test was canceled.

When the main clause is first, do not use a comma.

  • John still studied at the library although the test was canceled.
  • The test was canceled because the textbooks did not come.

Written by Richard P Carrigan, MSE

Richard Carrigan, teacher, speaker, filmmaker, has been an educator for over 30 years. He has experience teaching and developing curriculum for ESL classes in professional English, general conversation, and academic applications. He earned his undergraduate degree from Loma Linda University and his graduate degree from Shenandoah University.

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