Mastering the Art of Comma Usage

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“I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.”
– Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet

Do you find yourself struggling over that troublesome little punctuation mark tenderly referred to as the comma? If you do, you are not alone. The overuse of commas is actually one of the most common grammatical mistakes. Underusing them is a common mistake, too. Both the under use and overuse of commas creates a problem because commas are at the heart of providing meaning to your words. They break up confusing phrases, notate the separation of words in a list and do so much more. The following guides show you how to master the art of using commas correctly.

Part 1: Introductory Elements

Part 2: Independent Clauses and Coordinating Conjunctions

Part 3: Serial Comma

Part 4: Nonessential Elements

Part 5: Coordinate Adjectives

Part 6: Free Modifiers

Part 7: Pauses, Shifts and Contrasted Coordinate Elements

Part 8: Clarity

Part 9: Direct Addresses

Part 10: Locations, Dates and Titles

Part 11: Misuse of Commas

Part 12: Comma Splice: A Misunderstood Error of Omission