A ddresses and dates.
  • Addresses need commas between the city and the state (e.g., Richmond, Virginia).

  • Addresses need commas between the city and the country (e.g., London, England).

  • Dates need commas between the day and the year (e.g., February 14, 2025).

A collage of commas.
S et off non-essential information.
  • Commas are needed to set off non-essential information in a sentence.

  • Non-essential information is not of importance to the sentence. You can omit this information and the sentence will still have the same meaning (e.g., The ice sculpture, however, melted before the party began.).
I ntroductory words or clauses.
  • Use a comma to separate an introductory clause from the rest of the sentence. A clause is not a complete sentence and cannot stand alone. The remainder of the sentence is complete and can stand alone (e.g., After waiting in line for hours, we finally got to see the movie.).

  • Use a comma to separate an introductory word at the beginning of the sentence from the rest of the sentence (e.g., Consequently, the war was lost.).

W ords in lists.
  • Use a comma to separate lists of words which have three or more items (e.g., Please bring your notebook, textbook, and pencil to class.).
A djectives (two or more) for the same noun.
  • Use a comma to separate adjectives that describe the same noun (e.g., She likes pretty, frilly dresses.).
I ndependent clauses with coordinating conjunctions.
  • An independent clause contains a noun and verb and can stand alone as a complete sentence.

  • Coordinating conjunctions are words that separate the two independent clauses (e.g., and, but, or, for, nor, so). (The fire alarm went off, but there was no fire).
T itles which follow a name.
  • Titles are abbreviations for degrees that people have (e.g., Joseph Wilson, M.D.) or titles involving people who have the same names (e.g., Tyrone Johnson, Jr. vs. Tyrone Johnson, III).



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