A comma in English: basic principles of punctuation
The comma in English is the mostwidespread and, therefore, the heaviest for writing a punctuation mark. It is in cases with the use of commas that there are the greatest number of various difficulties and questions that are often determined by the author's opinion, personal emotional perception and interpretation of the specific case and situation described in the text. A comma in English, unlike Russian, is not always placed in subordinate clauses to separate from the main, while in Russian, clauses are always separated by commas.
When the comma is not put
The comma is not separated in English:
- subordinate subject / predicate / complement:
It is important that she should be there on Wednesday.It is important that she was there on Wednesday.
My rule is that you should not drink.My condition is that you do not drink.
I insist that you call him soon.We insist that you call him quickly.
- subordinate clauses, where the circumstance stands, when they go after the main sentence:
She told her all when she went downstairs.She told her everything as she walked down the stairs.
I had to end my work earlier to aid mother.I had to finish my job earlier to help my mother.
The police may take your car if you park it there.The police can confiscate the car if you park there.
The most typical situations using a comma
The most typical situation is using a comma.
- A comma in English is always used when referring.
Waiteress, I would like a menu, please.Waitress,bringmenu,you are welcome.
Father, there is no one here.Father, there's nobody here.
- A comma in English is used to separate individual items of enumeration:
Purple, lily, red flowers filled several vases.The vases were filled with purple, lilac, red flowers.
Notrose, went around the table, leaned down and took the little armchair.He got up, walked around the table, bent down and took a small armchair.
She laughs, drinks and speaks too much.He laughs too much, drinks and talks.
It should be remembered that in this case the comma before and can be used, but not necessarily.
- It is used (but not necessarily) between 2main proposals, conjunctions and / as / but / and others. Especially often the comma is used in English, when the first sentence is long:
He will affirm it, and I will help him with his problems.He will confirm this, I will helphim with his problems.
They stopped to look at each other, and she asked about this hard day.They stopped to look at each other, and she asked about this hard day.
The crowd was stupefied, as the clown was trying to entertain with his jokes.The crowd was enchanted when the clown tried to entertain with his jokes.
- It is used after circumstances in subordinate clauses going before the main sentence:
When she went downstairs, she told him that Selena had already come.When she came down, she told him that Selena had already come.
To support my sister, he had to leave Moscow.To help my sister, he had to leave Moscow.
Having called Sara, she quickly went to the station.After calling Sarah, she quickly went to the station.
When in doubt, you should come to see me.When in doubt, come to me.
If you park the car there, the police will seize it.If you park the car there, the police will confiscate it.
- Used after any part of the proposal, where there is additional information about the subject:
The waiter, who was old, told that he knew me.The waiter, an elderly man, claimed to know me.
Subtlety of use
The strict rule of English punctuationis a postulate according to which the use of a comma between a subject (several subjects) and a predicate is prohibited. This case is one of the few situations where it is possible to put a comma, but it should be borne in mind that only the additional information is underlined by the comma, and on both sides:
The girl who was so pretty, assuared that he saw me. The girl, who was so pretty assuared that he saw me. -Both suggestions are incorrect. No second comma.
The girl, who was so pretty, assuared that he saw me -Correctly.
The man, who aided me that night.The man who helped me that night said that he recognized me. -Wrong, here there is no additional information about the subject, but only an explanation, commas are not required.
Correctly:The man who aided me.
The strike at the nuclear plant, which lasted theree days, is already over. - DThe additional data is separated by commas, since there is more specific information.Strikeonnuclearfactory,lastingthreethe day,is over.
The woman with whom Tom was in love left him after five years. - PExplanation, commas are not required..Female,atwhichTomwasin love,lefthimafterfiveyears.
The manson, which was empty for three years, has been sold out.The mansion, which was empty for three years, was sold.
The girl whom I wanted to meet was away on vacations.The girl I wanted to meet with went on vacation.
An apostrophe, or, in common parlance, a comma (in the English language at the top) is put together with the lettersfor all cases of using the possessive case, except for the plural of objects and things, is formed according to the standard rule (then the apostrophe goes without s):
father "s look;
the princess "s ring;
men's gloves (man-men);
A comma in English from the top with the formation of the possessive case from proper names ending with a letter-s, you can use both options:
King Charles "s wife / King Charles" wife.
Put in abbreviated forms to indicate missing letters or numbers:
I "m - I am;
he "s - he is / has;
"86 - 1986.
The apostrophe is put together with the letter -s when forming the plural from letters, numbers or abbreviations (with numbers and capital letters the apostrophe can be omitted):
In the 1970s; s / the 1970s;
VIP "s / VIPs;
He could not distinguish his L. "He indistinctly pronounced the letter L.
Separation at circulation
A comma in English is used in English in dialect (the American uses a colon) when writing business correspondence, as well as in simple everyday speech.
Dear Mr. Frendick, We have received your letter ...
It is used in official or business correspondence after the last greeting phrases, separating it from the name and position (between which there are no punctuation marks):
Yours faithfully, / Yours sincerely, Ranason-.Ltd.A. Simpson Manager.
A comma is used in addresses on an envelope or inupper letter area (above the text), underlining the name of the addressee / name of the organization / address / (the comma is not required between the house numbers and the street name):
Stephen P. Denny, 5678 Starling Avenue, Garlem, L.A. 10857.
Also used to separate explanatory words from direct speech, if there are no other punctuation marks:
"How were you?" Nick questioned. "He was ok", she replied. "Do you still hurt?" he asked. "No", she said, "not much." He said, "I am not aware."
Comma for introductory phrases and other words
A comma in English before is not used.
He could not get into the house.
Sentences containing a circumstance need to use a comma in the event that they precede the main sentence. Comparison:
Because he was strange, I broke up with him.Because he was strange, I broke up with him.
A comma in English after opening words (for example: so, well, however, probably, certainly, naturally)
In fact, I had a little chance to do it.
Probably, Tom would come to Paris at 8 pm.
In the presence of introductory words that have a participle or a gospel:
Heartbroken, he has gone to his cottege.With a broken heart she went to the cottage.
Used before the for word,if it goes as an alliance (the secondary proposals affiliated by this union are very rarely going ahead of the main one):
I begged her to be there, for I had some information to tell her.I asked her to be there, since I needed to give her some information.
II could see about this woman.I could talk about this woman, since I've seen her before.
Features of use
This is just a fraction of the rules that need to beenjoy in everyday everyday life. And it always helped to be at the height when dealing with an educated contact person and, without hesitation, get in touch, discuss topics on the forums.
In English, or rather, in the Americandialect, which is used in the US, everything is arranged much easier. This grammatical issue Americans do not pay so much attention, as, for example, in Russian grammar.
The fact is that two different teachers cantell you different rules about the correct use of a comma in the English sentence, and both may be right. And all because of the fact that in America there is no strict, organized system for applying commas. But still there are general rules, adhering to which a person can get a basic knowledge of English punctuation.
In normative English, a comma ismultifunctional punctuation mark, and its modern usage is an example not only of transformations in the application of punctuation, but also of how the entire target concept of what is considered a normative sentence in the English language is modified. Until the end of the 19th century, authors and writers used a semicolon where one comma is usually used, and a comma in those cases where no punctuation is required at all now. Throughout the twentieth century, there have been fundamental changes in the punctuation rules of modern English.