What’s the difference?
- “Let’s eat dad!”
- “Let’s eat, dad”?
Do we want to eat our father or simply invite him to eat with us? Do we punctuate correctly on our written speech? Do we really know when is a comma used, or we only just use it to separate items in a list of nouns, adjectives or adverbs?
Well, here are the 10 golden rules
- to separate items in a list of nouns, adjectives or adverbs
e.g. She had in her bag a pen, a notepad, an eraser and a sharpener.
- to separate main clauses which describe consecutive actions
e.g. He walked in, yelled at his supervisor and left in a hurry.
- after a subordinate clause which precedes the main clause
e.g. If you study, you’ll get a good grade.
- before and after a non-defining clause
e.g. The brown shirt, which she gave me, is dirty.
- to separate an introductory word or phrase from the main part of the sentence
e.g. To begin with, you all need to take notes.
- after “Yes” or “No” at the beginning of a sentence
e.g. Yes, they play the guitar.
- before or after an introductory verb in direct speech
e.g. Sam told her, “Are you aware of what I’ve been through?”
- before question tags
e.g. Kate is a really good piano player, isn’t she?
- to keep the word order in a sentence when expressions or words interrupt its normal progression
e.g. The University of Never Never Land, although hard to believe, has issued many fake certificates
- always check that you have followed the above mentioned rules!