The comma

Use a comma:

· After an introductory word.

Quietly, she tiptoed past the sleeping child.
Haltingly, the soldier called out, “Who goes there?”

· After an introductory phrase

Running slowly, Ed finished a marathon in five and a half hours.
Being frank, Tom said, “I’m not myself, today.”

· After an introductory clause

After she wrote a chapter, she went out for a run.
When Tom heard the doorbell, he chimed in, “There’s someone at the front door.”

(Love those Tom Swifties)


5 responses to “The comma

  1. Thanks for the refresher. Over the years, I simply learned to use punctuation based on what looks right. While that usually works, it is good to go back every once in a while and review. As I read different authors, I notice that authors these days sometimes take quite a bit of liberty with the English language. For example, I just read the Hunger Games trilogy. Now I know it is a young adult series, but what is it with all of the sentence fragments? Is that suppose to be ok now? I realize that it is sometimes ok, but it was so flagrant in that series. With that being said, the books were very good, and kept me quite interested throughout, but at what point do you say enough is enough?

    Sorry, had to vent…

    • Thanks. Good observations. I’m doing a little series on the comma. I like your approach that the important thing is communication, not the rules.

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