1. Use commas to
set off a title following a name.
Mary Stephens, special assistant to the dean, wrote the report.
commas to set off individual parts of addresses and names of
and political divisions.
John Blake lives at 1222 Juneau Avenue, Ellendale, Pennsylvania, in a
The fieldwork was done in Tel Aviv, Israel, under the supervision of
University faculty members.
commas around the year when it follows a specific date; do not use
the year when it is used with the month or season alone.
agreed on December 12, 1979, as the next meeting date.
The report was
issued in July 1975 and revised in spring 1979.
PHRASES AND CLAUSES
or clauses may be restrictive or nonrestrictive. A clause or phrase is
restrictive when the meaning of the sentence is incomplete without it.
A clause or phrase is
nonrestrictive if it is not essential to the meaning of the sentence
and could be omitted.
4. When a
dependent clause following a main clause is restrictive, do not set
clause with a comma. When a dependent clause is nonrestrictive, set
off the clause
with a comma.
The dean was
surprised when he heard about the proposal.
The dean voted for the amendment, although she knew it would be
Use a comma after a dependent clause that precedes the main clause.
When she returned
to school, Ann changed her major from history to sociology.
commas to set off an adverbial phrase placed between the subject and
Johnson, after typing the paper, returned to the library.
7. If an
adjectival phrase or clause is restrictive, do not set it off with
commas. If the
phrase or clause is
nonrestrictive, set it off with commas.
The book that was
assigned was not available. (Answers the question which book?)
The book, which had been ordered late, did not arrive in time. (The
only book in question.)
8. Use commas to
set off a word, phrase, or clause that is in apposition to a noun
it is necessary to complete the meaning of the sentence.
Her report, an analytical approach to the topic, was well received.
St. Paul, Minnesota, is on the Mississippi River.
We could not reach Miller, former director of the institute, for
His son, Mike, was late. (his only son)
Her son Mike was elected president. (one of two or more sons)