The comma, as a mark of punctuation, is one of the most misused punctuation marks. This 11-plus English quiz will give you some practice in using the comma. Here are a few rules to help you:
- Use a comma to separate the elements in a series, e.g. 'He was tall, dark and handsome'. The final comma before the 'and' can be left out or included, but whatever you decide - be consistent. This comma actually has a name: it is called the 'Oxford' comma. Note: a comma is not used between the last adjective and the noun or pronoun.
- Use a comma with 'and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so' to connect two independent clauses: an independent clause is a sentence that is part of a sentence, e.g. 'I don't like music much, but I love jazz music'. The independent clauses are 'I don't like music much' and 'I love jazz music'.
- Use a comma to set off introductory elements, e.g. Running towards the bridge, he suddenly heard a loud explosion.
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