How to Use Commas in English! Learn the comma definition, basic comma rules illustrated with example sentences and ESL printable infographic.
Learn more about the punctuation “full stop” in English.
A comma is a punctuation used to denote a pause in the sentence. A comma is used to structure a sentence and helps the reader understand the meaning of the sentence.
The following are the most common usages of the comma in the English language.
1. To separate a series of words (nouns, adjectives, verbs or adverbs) in a sentence.
- Tom, Anna, Jim and Richard went for the meeting.
- John is an intelligent, loyal and hardworking employee.
- You must complete the assignment honestly, correctly and quickly.
- David ran, swam and cycled to complete the athletic event.
2. To separate a series of phrases in a sentence.
- Amit completed his homework, packed his bags, polished his shoes and went to sleep.
- I went to the market, bought the present, got it gift wrapped and came to the birthday party.
3. To separate the parenthetical elements (a part of a sentence that can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence).
- M.S. Dhoni, India’s cricket captain, hit a six to win the match.
- David, the head boy of the school, has been absent for the last three days.
4. To separate the quoted parts from the rest of the sentence.
- The great leader told the crowd, “I will fast till death until our demands are met.”
- “Please go back to your houses,” said the policeman to the crowd.