Vlog: The Comma

Commas Lessons

By Janice Seagraves



Commas can be a bit tricky, especially for the novice writer. I’ve noticed some extra commas or none at all in some of the work I critique, so I thought this would be a good lesson.


Mary did the dishes and dumped the garbage.

Mary did both things, so there is no need of a comma here.


But if you have two people doing different things in the same sentence, you will need a comma.

Not correct: Billy did the dishes and Mary dumped the garbage.

Correct: Billy did the dishes, and Mary dumped the garbage.


When you use dialogue and address someone you’ll need a comma right before or right after the names.

Example: Mary, can you dump the garbage?

Or Isn’t it your turn to dump the garbage, Mary?

And if you insert the name in the middle of the sentence like: Isn’t your turn, Mary, to dump the garbage?


Be careful where you put that comma. It can change the meaning of what you’re trying to say.

You might remember this meme:

Let’s eat grandma.

Let’s eat, grandma.

The comma causes a slight hesitation and can change the meaning of the sentence.

So, use the comma, and not eat grandma.