Between items in a series
- Flour, yeast, salt, and oil make bread.
- He lived in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.
- Dexter rode a horse, wrestled a steer, and shoveled manure.
Between two independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction: and, but, or, for, nor, yet, so
- He lived, and he died.
- He lived long, but he died poor.
- He could have been a doctor, or he could have been a lawyer.
- He did not marry, nor did he have children.
- He loved children, yet he did not have any.
- He did not want children, so he had none.
Separate a main clause and a subordinate clause with a subordinating conjunction: although, because, if, unless, etc.
- Although he lived long, he died poor.
- Because he lived well, he died well.
- If he had been a doctor, he might have been wealthy.
- You should get a good job, unless you want to be broke.
Separate a main clause from a non-restrictive phrase or clause
- non-restrictive (use commas)
- My mom, who plays electric guitar, has red hair.
- My dad lives in Kansas City, a great town for barbecue.
- Barak Obama, a man of African descent, was the President of the United States.
- restrictive (do not use commas)
- The lady who has red hair is my mom.
Comma Rules Quiz
Click the answer which best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence.
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