Friday, July 6, 2012

ESL Teaching Tip: Proper Use of Commas

Using commas properly is a difficult task for even native English speakers. Following are some tips on when and how to use commas appropriately.
  • A comma is used before a sentence ends. It tells the reader to take a small pause within the sentence.
  • Use a comma with dates.
    • Use a comma between the day and the year when writing a date. (Example: May 31, 2004)
    • When the date is not at the end of a sentence, use a comma after the year. (Example: May 31, 2004, is the day Maya was born.)
    • Use a comma after the day of a week and the month. (Example: Monday, May 31, 2004, was Memorial Day.)
  • Use a comma to separate items in a series. (Example: I like apples, bananas, and grapes.)
  • Use a comma after the greeting and the closing of a letter. (Examples: "Dear Abby,” or “Sincerely, Jessica”)
  • Use a comma in addresses.
    • Use a comma between the name of a city and a state. (Example: Toledo, Ohio)
    • Use a comma to separate each item in the address when written in a sentence (Example: Abby’s new address is 244 Hanover Lane, Toledo, OH 43615, and she would love to hear from you.)
  • Use a comma with quotation marks.
    • Use a comma before quotation marks. (Example: Tyler yelled, “Look out!”)
    • You don’t need to use a comma in indirect quotations where quotation marks are not used. (Example: You said you were coming.)

For other ESL Teaching Tips, visit the following blog posts:

Click here to read about the pronunciation of -ed.
Click here to read about pronouncing plurals.
Click here to read about voiced and voiceless sounds.
Click here to read about rising and falling intonation in questions.
Click here to read about syllable stress and the schwa.
Click here to read about adding the suffixes -ing, -ed, -er, and -est.
Click here to read about teaching common suffixes. 
Click here to read about teaching common prefixes. 
Click here to read about spelling words that end in S, F, and Z.
Click here to read about syllable division in multi-syllabic words.
Click here to read about soft sounds of c and g.

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