Using Commas

Tips on using commas

When writing compound sentences, use a comma before the coordinating conjunction.

  • John went to the bank, and he went to the post office.
  • It was raining hard, but he stayed dry.

When writing complex sentences, use a comma when the subordinating clause is first.

  • Although the test was canceled, John still studied at the library.
  • Because the textbooks did not come, the test was canceled.

When the main clause is first, do not use a comma.

  • John still studied at the library although the test was canceled.
  • The test was canceled because the textbooks did not come.

Richard Carrigan, MSE

Richard Carrigan has been an educator for over 30 years and a filmmaker for the past ten years. He has experience teaching English as a Second Language in Asia and teaching university students in the United States. He earned his undergraduate degree from Loma Linda University and his graduate degree from Shenandoah University.