2022-01-22 ศัพท์ น่าสับสน - Set – C - commas


Revision C

2022-01-22

ศัพท์ น่าสับสน - Set – C - commas

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Dictionary.com:

ออกเสียง comma = “KOM-uh”

 

Common Errors in English Usage Dictionary:

Commas

What follows is not a comprehensive guide 

to the many uses of commas

but a quick tour of the most common errors involving them. 

 

The first thing to note is that the comma 

often marks a brief pause in the flow of a sentence

and helpfully marks off one phrase from another

If you write 

“I plan to see Shirley and Fred will go shopping while we visit” 

your readers are naturally going to think 

the announced visit will be to both Shirley and Fred 

until the second half surprises them into realizing that 

Fred is not involved in this visit at all. 

A simple comma makes everything clear

“I plan to see Shirley, and Fred will go shopping while we visit.” 

 

People who read and write little have trouble with commas

if they deal with English primarily as a spoken language, 

where emphasis and rhythm mark out phrases

It takes a conscious effort 

to translate the rhythm of a sentence into writing using punctuation. 

 

Not many people other than creative writers 

have the occasion to write dialogue

but it is surprising 

how few understand that introductory words and phrases 

have to be separated from the main body of speech in direct address: 

“Well, what did you think of that?” “Good evening, Mr. Nightingale.” 

 

Commas often help set off interrupting matter within sentences

Theproper term for this sort of word or phrase is “parenthetical.” 

 

There are three ways to handle parenthetical matter. 

 

For asides sharply interrupting the flow of the sentence 

(think of your own examples) use parenthesis marks.

 

For many other kinds of fairly strong interjections dashes

—if you know how to type them properly—work best. 

 

Milder interruptions, like this, are nicely set off with commas

 

Many writers don’t realize that they are setting off a phrase

so they begin with the first comma but omit the second

which should conclude the parenthetical matter

Check for this sort of thing in your proofreading. 

 

A standard use for commas is in separating the items in a series

“cats, dogs, and gerbils.” 

Authorities differ as to 

whether that final comma before the “and” is required. 

 

Follow the style recommended by your teacher, editor, or boss 

when you have to please them

but if you are on your own

I suggest you use the final comma. 

It often removes ambiguities.

 

A different kind of series has to do with 

a string of adjectives modifying a single noun

“He was a tall, strong, handsome, but stupid man.” 

 

But when the adjectives modify each other 

instead of the noun, then no comma is used

“He was wearing a garish bright green tie.” 

A simple test: 

if you could logically insert “and” 

between the adjectives in a series like this, you need commas

 

English teachers refer to sentences 

where clauses requiring some stronger punctuation 

are instead lightly pasted together with a comma as “comma splices.”

 

Here’s an example: 

“He brought her a dozen roses, he had forgotten she was allergic to them.” 

In this sentence 

the reader needs to be brought up sharply 

and reoriented mid-sentence with a semicolon; 

a comma is too weak to do the trick.

 

Here’s a worse example of a comma splice

“It was a beautiful day outside, she remembered just in time to grab the coffee mug.” 

There is no obvious logical connection 

between the two parts of this sentence. 

They don’t belong in the same sentence at all

The comma should be a period, 

with the rest being turned into a separate sentence

 

Some writers insert commas seemingly at random

“The unabridged dictionary, was used mainly to press flowers.” 

 

When you’re not certain a comma is required

read your sentence aloud.

If it doesn’t seem natural to insert a slight pause or hesitation 

at the point marked by the comma, 

it should probably be omitted.

 

The A-Z of Correct English Common Errors in English Dictionary:

Commas

Commas are so widely misused 

that it is worth discussing their function in some detail. 

 

First, let us make it very clear when commas cannot be used

(a) A comma should never divide a subject from its verb. 

The two go together: 

My parents, had very strict views.  

My parents had very strict views.

 

Take extra care with compound subjects

The grandparents, the parents, and the children, were in some ways to blame. 

 The grandparents, the parents, and the children were in some ways to blame. 

 

 (b) Commas should never be used 

in an attempt to string sentences together. 

 

Sentences must be either properly joined 

(and commas don’t have this function

or clearly separated 

by full stops, question marks or exclamation marks

 

Commas have certain very specific jobs to do within a sentence. 

Let us look at each in turn: 

(i) Commas separate items in a list: 

I bought apples, pears, and grapes. 

She washed up, made the beds, and had breakfast. 

The novel is funny, touching, and beautifully written. 

The final comma before ‘and’ in a list is optional

However, use it to avoid any ambiguity

See (ix) below. 

 

(ii) Commas are used to separate terms of address 

from the rest of the sentence: 

Sheila, how nice to see you! Can I help you, madam? 

I apologise, ladies and gentlemen, for this delay. 

 

Note that a pair of commas is needed in the last example above 

because the term of address occurs mid-sentence

It is a very common error to omit one of the commas. 

 

(iii) Commas are used to separate interjections

asides and sentence tags like isn’t it? don’t you? haven’t you?. 

 

You’ll notice in the examples below 

that all these additions could be removed 

and these sentences would still be grammatically sound

My mother, despite her good intentions, soon stopped going to the gym. Of course, I’ll help you when I can. You’ve met Tom, haven’t you? 

 

(iv) Commas are used to mark off phrases in apposition

Prince Charles, the future king, has an older sister. 

The phrase ‘the future king’ is another way of referring to 

‘Prince Charles’ and is punctuated just like an aside

 

(v) A comma separates any material that precedes it from the main part of the sentence: 

Although she admired him, she would never go out with him. 

If you want to read the full story, buy The Sunday Times. 

Note that 

if the sentences are reversed 

so that the main part of the sentence comes first

the comma becomes optional. 

 

(vi) Commas mark off participles and participial phrases

whenever they come in the sentence: 

Laughing gaily, she ran out of the room. 

He flung himself on the sofa, overcome with remorse. 

The children, whispering excitedly, crowded through the door. 

For a definition of participles see PARTICIPLES. 

 

(vii) Commas mark off some adjectival clauses

Don’t worry too much about the grammatical terminology here. 

 

You’ll be able to decide whether you need to mark them off in your own work by matching them against these examples. 

Can you see the difference in meaning that a pair of commas makes here? 

Read the two sentences aloud, pausing where the commas indicate 

that you should pause in the first sentence

and the two different meanings should become clear: 

The firemen, who wore protective clothing, were uninjured. (= nobody injured) 

The firemen who wore protective clothing were uninjured. 

(but those who didn’t wear it . . .) 

 

(viii) Commas are used 

to mark a pause at a suitable point in a long sentence. 

This will be very much a question of style

Read your own work carefully and decide exactly how you want it to be read. 

 

(ix) Commas are sometimes needed to clarify meaning. 

In the examples below, 

be aware how the reader could make an inappropriate connection

She reversed the car into the main road and my brother waved goodbye.

She reversed the car into the main road and my brother?? 

She reversed the car into the main road, and my brother waved goodbye. 

In the skies above the stars glittered palely. 

In the skies above the stars?? In the skies above, the stars glittered palely.

 

Notice how the comma can sometimes be essential with ‘and’ in a list: 

We shopped at Moores, Browns, Supervalu, Marks and Spencer and Leonards. 

Is the fourth shop called Marks, or Marks and Spencer? 

Is the fifth shop called Leonards, or Spencer and Leonards? 

A comma makes all clear

We shopped at Moores, Browns, Supervalu, Marks and Spencer, and Leonards.

 

Dictionary.com:

Understanding When To Use Commas With Conjunctions

Published March 11, 2020

Commas don’t have to be confusing.

 

 After all, you know what a comma is:

the punctuation used to mark a division in a sentence, 

like the separation of words, phrases, a clause, or a sequence.

And commas often accompany a conjunction, 

which is a word that connects phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g., andbecause, but, and however

or any other words or expressions that provide a similar function 

(e.g., in any case).

 

The trick is knowing how to properly use commas and conjunctions together.  

This cheat sheet will help explain exactly 

when commas and conjunctionsshould be used together

and why it matters 

(without—we hope—putting you into a comma-induced coma).

 

Know your clauses

The use of a comma has a lot to do with the clauses you’re combining.

Two clauses that typically need a comma between them 

are an independent clause 

(a clause that could be its own stand-alone sentence

and a dependent clause, which cannot stand alone.

 

Consider this example

  • We could still see the cat, which was following 10 feet behind us.

The first half

We could still see the cat, is an independent clause, 

because it can stand alone as its own sentence

 

The second halfwhich was following 10 feet behind us

is a dependent clause, because it cannot be its own sentence

It is dependent upon the clause in the beginning of the sentence to make sense.

 

Know your conjunctions

In addition to the conjunctions mentioned way above, 

there are also coordinating conjunctions

These are the words that can connect two independent clauses.

There are seven total: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. 

These always require a comma

An easy way to remember all seven is by using the acronym FANBOYS.

 

What is a relative pronoun?

relative pronoun is

a word that is used to refer back to a previously mentioned noun

Relative pronouns are often used to join sentences

Which, that, whosewhoeverwhomever, who, and whom 

are the most commonly used ones. 

 

Here is an example: 

  • The writer who wrote this article has a cold.

In this sentence, 

who is the relative pronoun that refers back to the noun the writer.  

(Hang in there. We’re getting back to commas soon.)

 

What is a dependent adverbial clause?

dependent adverbial clause, or subordinate adverbial clause

is a clause that also acts as, or modifies, an adverb.

It cannot stand alone as its own sentence

so dependent adverbial clauses must be used as part of 

a larger sentence structure that contains an independent clause.

 

Look at this sentence: 

  • The mouse returned when we turned off the lights.

When we turned off the lights is the dependent adverbial clause, 

and the mouse returned is an independent clause. 

 

After all that, 

how do you know when two clauses need a comma to separate them,

and when you can do without?

 

Check out our comma cheat sheet

 

Did you use a coordinating conjunction 

like and, but, and or to link two independent clauses? 

If so, add a comma like we did in this example: 

  • We didn’t get to it, but tomorrow is a new day.

 

Did you use a relative pronoun 

like who, whom, which, what 

(or one of their compounds -ever or -soever)

with a clause that is essential for identification? 

If so, leave out the commas, as we did in this example: 

  • The boy who is playing the clarinet is very talented. 

(Which boy is it? Here, the instrument is an essential piece of information.)

  • Pro tip: if you are not sure if your clause is essential, 

see if deleting it changes the meaning of your sentence.

  • For exampleAnton, who plays both the clarinet and piano, is very talented

Since we have specific information about the boy (Anton), 

the clause is no longer essential. It takes a comma.

 

Did you use a relative pronoun 

like that, that was not essential for identification? If so, then no comma

  • The skirt that I bought yesterday is already ripped.

 

Did you use an dependent adverbial clause before an independent clause? 

If so, add a comma as in this example: 

  • When I cook, my kids sit at my feet. 

(My kids sit at my feet is the independent clause, 

when I cook is the dependent adverbial clause.)

 

Did you use a dependent adverbial clause after an independent clause? 

If so, then you do not need to add a comma.  

  • The cow eats grass when we look away. 
  • (The cow eats grass is the independent clause, 

when we look away is the dependent adverbial clause.)

 

Fun fact: the conjunctions even thoughwhereasthough, and although 

do take a comma when they are part of a dependent adverbial clause 

that follows an independent clause. 

  • She really wanted to take out the trash, even though it wasn’t full.

 

Good news, you CAN start sentences with conjunctions!

And, if you are using a conjunction 

at the beginning of a sentence (like we just did), 

you should only put a comma after it 

if it is going to be the first in a series of commas. 

That means that if the only comma your sentence is going to have 

is the one you put in after the initial conjunction, you should remove it.

 

For example, 

you would not need to use a comma after your opening conjunction 

in the sentence below, 

because the comma after the word and 

would be the only one in the sentence

  • And that was the end of the matter.

 

However, you would need to use one after the opening conjunction

in the sentence below, 

because the sentence calls for a series of commas: 

  • So, she told the truth anyway, even though she knew it would end her career.

 

Comma and non-conjunctions: so and too

How do you use commas when it comes to words like so and too 

(orany other non-conjunctions that are joining clauses mid-sentence)?

When it comes to using the word so,

the rule of thumb is that 

if it begins your independent clause, there should be a comma. 

However,

if it is at the beginning of a dependent clause, you can skip the comma. 

 

Still unsure if you should use a comma

Try switching out the word so with either therefore or so that

If therefore works, then the comma is needed

  • My sister was tired all day, so she went to bed early 

requires a comma because it is similar to saying 

My sister was tired all day, therefore she went to bed early.

If so that can be used without changing the meaning

then you will want to skip the comma.  

  • I went to the beach so I could get a better view of the sunset 

works just the same as saying 

I went to the beach so that I could get a better view of the sunset.

Since either way works, you do not need a comma. 

 

As for the word too, it all depends on the emphasis you are looking for. 

A comma only needs to appear before the word too 

if you are using it to mark a shift of thought 

in the middle of a sentence like in the example: 

I, too, like cats. 

But it’s not needed at the end of the sentence: I like cats too.

Some of these rules are easier to remember than others

but with practice—and this guide

—you’ll soon be debating comma placement like the best of them. 

Just be wary of those “Oxford or not” debates. 

They’re not for the faint at heart!

 

 

Dictionary.com:

What Is An Oxford Comma And When Do You Use It?

Published March 26, 2021

Commas can separate items in a list

—for most of us this is a grade-school lesson. 

However, there’s one comma use that tends to complicate the issue 

even beyond our recess and lunch box years: the Oxford comma.

 

What is the Oxford comma?

In a list of three or moreitems

the last comma is called the Oxford comma (or the serial comma).

For example, in 

He bought eggs, milk, and bread,

there’s a comma between each item listed. 

The comma before and is the Oxford comma

 

Not all style guides agree on whether to use the Oxford comma.

In some cases,

you can leave the Oxford comma out 

without changing the meaning of the sentence.

 

If you delete it from the previous example

it still has the same meaning: 

he bought eggs, milk and bread.

In other cases, the Oxford comma can be necessary

For example, in the sentence 

I love my pets, chocolate, and pizza,

the Oxford comma makes it clear that all three items are separate

 

This one could be confusing if the Oxford comma were left out

I love my pets, chocolate and pizza might mean that 

the speaker’s pets are named Chocolate and Pizza.

 

The debate over the Oxford comma

The modern comma descended directly from Italian printer 

Aldus Manutius. (He’s also responsible for italics and the semicolon!)

 

In the late 1400s, when Manutius was working, a slash mark 

(/, also called a virgule) denoted a pause in speech

(Virgule is still the word for comma in French.) 

 

Manutius made the slash lower in relation to the line of text 

and curved it slightly

In the 1500s, this new mark acquired the old Greek name comma. 

The word comma literally meant “a piece cut off,”

which is from the Greek koptein, meaning “to cut off.

Other than the period

the comma is the most common punctuation mark in English.

 

The argument for the Oxford comma

As you can tell from the sentence 

I love my pets, chocolate and pizza,

those who argue in favor of the Oxford comma 

have a whole slew of example sentences 

that serve as proof it’s sorely needed

(In factwe have a whole slideshow on the Oxford comma 

and bizarre misunderstandings that its absence has caused

if you’re in need of a laugh.)

 

If you’re following a stylebook to write a paper or article, 

be sure to check its policy for commas

The Chicago Manual of Style is pro-Oxford comma, 

while the Associated Press Stylebook is decidedly against it as a rule

but will allow it for the sake of clarity

(In 2017, they issued a clarification on their policy

to assure writers they could use it in cases where they deemed it necessary.)

 

The argument against the Oxford comma

Strangely enough,

while the comma is so named after the Oxford University Press

which requires it in its style guidelines, 

it’s not exactly popular in Britain

 

The anti-comma camp is loudest there, 

and those who oppose this punctuation mark 

argue it’s unnecessary and clutters up a sentence.

In the 1950s, writer James Thurber famously 

complained about the overuse of the comma in The New Yorker

making the argument that “the red white and blue” 

looked much better than “the red, white, and blue,” 

 

when it comes to the American flag

Some writers who oppose the comma have noted that 

there are other ways to remedy a confusing sentence.

Newspapers, of course, 

which have historically needed to conserve space and newsprint, 

tend to omit the Oxford comma.

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