Practical English Usage
English grammar and vocabulary exercises
The punctuation mark comma
Commas reflect pauses in speech.
A listing comma is used to separate items in a series or list. In British English, the last two items in a list are not usually separated by a comma unless these are long.
A joining comma is used to join two complete sentences into a single sentence. It is usually followed by a connecting word like and, or, but, while or yet.
A gapping comma is used to show that certain words have been omitted instead of repeated.
When subordinate clauses begin sentences, they are often separated by commas.
If words or expressions interrupt the normal progression of a sentence, we usually separate them off by commas.
We use commas to mark off a noun or phrase in apposition.
Commas are used to mark off a participial phrase from the rest of the sentence.
A non-defining relative clause is separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
Sections in this articleFull stops, question marks and exclamation marks
Colon and semicolon
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