I'm 42 and I've just realised I've got no idea how to use a comma.

(6 Posts)
Arfarfanarf Fri 12-Feb-16 15:11:02

None at all. I don't even know what the rule is.

I just put them wherever I'd pause if I was saying out loud what I am typing.

There must be a rule. Anyone know what it is?

DadDadDad Fri 12-Feb-16 16:02:47

I'm not sure there is one rule. But this is the kind of thing you can Google! I found this link: www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/comma

I think the thing is that there are many places where a comma is optional or a matter of style.

Apart from in lists, the most normal use for me is where it splits a sentence to show a supplementary or independent part of that sentence, but that's just off the top of my head. For example, in my previous sentence if you deleted the phrase before the first comma or deleted the phrase after the second comma then it would still make sense as a sentence.

Arfarfanarf Fri 12-Feb-16 17:39:10

Oh yes, i did google. As always, it left me more confused grin so many sites saying different things. You know when you overgoogle until you dont know anything at all? Even things you knew before you started. grin

notonyurjellybellynelly Fri 12-Feb-16 17:42:47

Im the same. I just cannot punctuate for the life of me despite having an A pass in English at HND level.

Its not always been this way and I speak English far better than I write it - I just don't know what happened to me and at close to 60 I ashamed of it.

DadDadDad Fri 12-Feb-16 18:07:37

But your post just now uses two commas (and probably would have a third if you'd not used a smiley), and they all look like perfectly fine to me.

Maybe the way to improve is to keep writing and asking those you trust whether your punctuation needs correcting?

CocktailQueen Fri 12-Feb-16 21:20:12

The Oxford Dictionary site is a good one.

Also, commas are used:

To separate items in a list: apples, bananas and pears

To clarify a sentence that would otherwise mean something else: 'i love cooking my family and my dog' means something very different to 'I love cooking, my family and my dog'!

To separate a subordinate clause in a sentence: the girl, who wore a red coat, loved Mumsnetting on a Friday. 'Who wore a red coat' is the subordinate clause - you don't need it for the sentence to make sense.

Your use of commas is fine in your posts above...

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