The comma is a punctuation mark that is basically used to pause briefly in text. This type of pause is usually shorter than the period, and should not be confused with the semicolon (;). The comma (,) is considered the most used sign when writing any content.
To make a comma there is a fixed rule, it must be placed together with the previous word or sign. And after it there must be a space separating the phrase or sign that follows. This should always be done this way, regardless of the type of comma being used.
Whoever writes can use the comma according to their tastes and what they want to express. But there are types of commas that must be used for such texts to be read in the correct way. Next, we will explain the kinds of commas that we can find.
Types of coma
This type of comma is used to separate a set of elements that express similar characteristics or simply want to enumerate. Generally, when naming these words, conjunctions are used (y, o, u, ni), before them a comma should not be placed.
– Today I went to the supermarket I could buy fruits, meat, rice and eggs. (Correct).
– Today I went to the supermarket, I could buy fruits, meat, rice, and eggs. (Incorrect).
– Use my telescope you can see the moon, the stars and many stars. (Correct).
– Use my telescope you can see the moon, the stars, and many stars. (Incorrect).
– In the house I have a chair, a table, my TV, a cat and a dog.
– Tomorrow I will go to the supermarket, to the movies, to the cafeteria and then I will return home.
– My mom is kind, pampering, educated and an example to follow.
– We go to the beach to sunbathe , tan, eat fish and swim a bit.
– The night is cold, dark, nostalgic and lonely.
– Her name was weird, short, spurious and unusual.
– I will write a tenth, a sonnet , a quatrain and a silva.
This type of comma is used to mark a difference between the vocative and the rest of the sentence. The vocative is the way to address one or more person by name or something that distinguishes it.
– Luis, wait this way.
– Students, write everything that is on the board.
– It’s time to sleep, Pedro, enough playing.
– José, that happened to you for not paying attention.
– You, the woman I love.
– Maria, so long, so many days waiting.
– Love, wait for me, please.
– Woman, we will arrive on time, calm down.
– People, please stay calm.
– She, the one I waited so long for.
This comma is used to avoid redundancy in sentences. It can be used to replace a verb or noun that was mentioned.
– Manuel went to Germany and Antonio to Mexico.
– Maria lost her wallet; Alicia, her notebook. (The comma after “Alice” replaces “lost”).
– Venice is a very beautiful city; Barcelona and Valencia, too. (The comma after “Barcelona and Valencia” replaces “they are”).
– José wanted ribs; Pedro, chicken. (The comma after “Pedro” replaces “wanted”).
– I play chess; Jose, soccer. (The comma after “José” replaces “plays”).
– I like to run during the day; to Pedro, run at night. (The comma after “Pedro” replaces “likes”).
– Yesterday was very hot; today, very cold.
Explanatory or incidental coma
In this case the comma is used to add additional data about the subject or the verb. This information does not alter the sentence and must have a comma at the beginning and end. Since the idea is not essential, it can even be removed without any problem.
– Luisa, besides being an excellent friend, is a very good teacher. (It can be written: Luisa is a very good teacher).
– We all went, even though it was raining, this morning to school. (It can be written: We all went to school this morning).
– The dogs, even though they had not eaten well, ran the entire stretch. (It can be written: The dogs ran all the way).
– The children, although they were upset, fulfilled their duties. (It can be written: The children did their homework).
– If you leave early today, you should know, you will not have your voucher.
The appositive comma is used when the subject is known by another name that describes it. This alias must be enclosed in commas.
– James Bond, Agent 007, wears an elegant black suit.
– Julia, the secretary, is very punctual in her work.
– Pedro Pérez, the footballer, did not appear today at the meeting.
– Juan, the poet, writes a lot.
– Manuel, the teacher, was late.
For this type of coma, the usual order that a sentence must have is altered, in terms of subject, verb and action. The comma is placed after the fact.
– As discussed above, Manuel no longer belongs to our group.
– Despite the rain, the ship was able to sail.
This comma is used when the sentence pauses with an adverbial phrase or conjunctions. Some of the words that we can commonly find are: that is, for example, that is, in the first place, to name one of them.
– Today I am very happy, however, yesterday was a difficult day.
– I already ate too much, I mean, I don’t want dessert.
– Let’s play, first of all, chess.
– Tenths, to name some poetic form, are excellent for educating.
– Yesterday I studied a lot, however, I failed the exam.
Other uses of the comma
In math, the comma is used to separate whole numbers from decimals. There are some countries that use the period instead of the comma for this case, both are accepted by the RAE.
– 100,235, 67
– 8,908,200, 35
In programming languages
The comma is also used in computing. There are several programming languages that use the comma for various functions. This is used both to separate values or as an operator that assigns values from one variable to another.
– C language
– power (a, b) (function).
– int a, b, sum; (declaration of variables).
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