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*Asterisk = examples of errors or poor constructions*.

Student Learning: Grammar

Using commas - Lesson one

  1. 1.1 For separating describing words:

    Commas are used for separating describing words, to make the sentence easy to read.
    Note: there shouldn't be any comma between the last describing word and the thing it describes.

In 1939 there were dark, ominous, portentious clouds hanging over Europe.

She held one beautiful, perfectly formed, new flower in her hand.

  1. 1.2 For simple lists:

    Commas are used to separate list items in a simple list in order to make the sentence easier to read. Note: Often there is no comma between the last two items if you use an and between them, although at times it may be appropriate.

Qualities needed to become a top sportsperson include perseverence, confidence, focus and discipline.

The following may be symptoms of pavor nocturnus: confusion, disorientation, panic, dislocation.

  1. 1.3 The Oxford comma: - also known as the 'serial comma'

    Should you have a comma before an 'and' at the end of a list? Find out and complete this lesson from TED-Ed about the great Oxford comma debate. (Opens in a new tab)