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عدد الرسائل : 1146
العمر : 54
تاريخ التسجيل : 25/02/2008
|موضوع: The Comma / Lesson الثلاثاء مارس 25, 2008 10:45 pm|| |
When to Use a Comma
When not to Use a Comma
Introductory elements often require a comma, but not always. Use a comma in the following cases:
- after an introductory clause. (Does the introductory element have a subject and verb of its own?)
- after a long introductory prepositional phrase or more than one introductory prepositional phrase. (Are there more than five words before the main clause?)
- after introductory verbal phrases, some appositive phrases, or absolute phrases.
- if there is a distinct pause. (When you read the sentence aloud, do you find your voice pausing a moment after the introductory element?)
- to avoid confusion. (Might a reader have to read the sentence more than once to make sense of it?)
Some introductory elements don't require a comma, and sometimes the subject of a sentence looks like an introductory element but isn't. Do not use a comma in the following cases:
- after a brief prepositional phrase. (Is it a single phrase of less than five words?)
- after a restrictive (essential) appositive phrase. (See our document on appositives.)
- to separate the subject from the predicate. (See below.)
Each of the following sentences may look like it requires a comma after the opening segment (marked with an x), but the opening segment is really the subject. It's sometimes easy to confuse gerund- or infinitive-phrase subjects like the following with nonessential introductory phrases, so be careful.
- Preparing and submitting his report to the committee for evaluation and possible publication[x] was one of the most difficult tasks Bill had ever attempted.
- To start a new business without doing market research and long-term planning in advance[x] would be foolish.
- Extracting the most profit for the least expenditure on labor and materials[x] is the primary goal of a capitalist.
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