The comma’s broad function is to separate words, phrases and clauses in a sentence to make it easily understood.
Setting off names and people
- Are you seeing her tomorrow, Jane?
- Look, Bob, a beautiful eagle.
- Children, be quiet and listen.
- Please buy apples, oranges, grapes and onions.
- My favourite colours are red, white and blue.
Itemising groups of words
- You may have the cheese board, the chocolate cake, the coffee or the mango surprise.
Separating thoughts or qualifications
- The reviewers thought it was, after careful consideration, the best book in the category.
- It was, on the whole, a very successful evening.
Setting off interjections
- Wow, what a beautiful dog!
- Well, I have never seen this restaurant so busy.
- Wait, I will be there in a minute.
Setting off direct speech
- John lifted his eyes and said, “The little green men are coming.”
Comparative and contrasting statements
- The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
- The more he protested his innocence, the less they listened.
- He will pass the exam, I know it.
- She is innocent, that’s the truth.
Setting off an introductory word or phrase
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