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If you try taking it out of the sentence, the meaning changes: Cars always seem to break down. Mammals, including dolphins and humans, are warm-blooded. It modifies the noun comma, letting us know that commas can be challenging. The comma before "include", on the other hand, is completely and totally WRONG. That means the phrase is restrictive and you should not use commas with it. Very few times is a comma after but, but usually the coma goes before but. One asks directly, while the other poses the question indirectly. The nonrestrictive clause, “which Amy got from a rescue,” adds interesting information and context to the noun, dog. The highlighted phrase in the sentence above is restrictive. As with many comma related questions, the answer depends on whether the phrase in question is restrictive or non-restrictive. When used this way, there’s no need to place a comma before that. Commas can separate adjectives, offset nonessential phrases, and introduce direct quotations. To begin with, forget anything you've ever been told about using a comma "wherever you would pause", or anything of the sort; this well-meaning advice is hopelessly misleading. Essentially, both examples are asking about what items are on sale. Here is the rule: The Rule for Using Commas with "Which" and "Who". A comma is a form of punctuation that indicates a pause in a sentence and separates items in a list. It would be fine to start the sentence with “fortunately” followed by a comma. Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. The listing comma is used as a kind of substitute for the word and, or sometimes for or.It occurs in two slightly different circumstances. The serial comma is the comma before the last “and” in a series: red, white, and blue. Our language uses exclamation marks, semicolons, dashes, and commas - just to name a few. You may have learned that it’s not necessary to use a comma before “and” – and that’s fine in most cases. It depends on how 'tightly coupled' the will phrase is to what precedes it. Adding a comma is not about feeling right, or when you think you would normally pause for breath or emphasis in a spoken sentence. Use commas to surround a non-defining word or phrase. And this means we can check whether a comma is … You’ll notice here that by adding a comma after the which, you end up with commas before and after it. When used this way, you don’t need a comma before the which. Either way, you don’t need to put a comma before it. Therefore, you need a comma before which and another one at the end of the nonrestrictive phrase. Which is used with nonrestrictive clauses. Notice a comma follows both the day and the year. Comma Before And That Joins Two Independent Clauses The word and is a conjunction, and when a conjunction joins two independent clauses, you should use a comma with it. Can a comma go after but? What dis­tin­guishes Eng­lish from most other lan­guages is its use of com­mas be­fore a de­pen­dent (sub­or­di­nate) clause. Each mark has it's own job to do. It may also include adjectives that modify the object. Everyone loved Robin’s video, which she had filmed in her garage. However, when only a month and year are written, no commas are necessary unless the unit acts as an introductory clause. You should use a comma before “which” when it precedes a nonrestrictive clause. A prepositional phrase includes a preposition and a noun or pronoun that serves as the object of the preposition. By using our site you agree to our privacy policy. The quick answer to this question is no. When the information provided by the clause starting with "which" or "who" is required to define the person (or thing), then there are no commas. Note the comma before WITH. Commas should be used before and when joining two independent clauses or when compiling a list. are usu­ally nei­ther pre­ceded nor fol­lowed by a comma. A nonrestrictive modifying clause is a phrase that adds nonessential information to a sentence without altering its meaning. In the sentence above, which introduces a nonrestrictive phrase (highlighted in gray). It is incorrect to place only one comma before the name or title. The use of the comma rules are quite, well, at least, reasonably clear according to the Oxford University Press Style Guide. The answer is A. Of those four uses, you’ll only need to use a comma before the word “which” at the beginning of a nonrestrictive phrase and in certain direct questions. This grammar guide will teach you when you should and shouldn’t place a comma before which. None of the following ways require a comma before which. You can safely delete it if you want without losing the context. When "which" appears in prepositional phrases, you don't need a comma before the "which.". In general, just because you are including the word before, it is not necessary to precede it with a comma. First, it is used in a list when three or more words, phrases or even complete sentences are joined by the word and or or; we might call this construction an X, Y and Z list: The Three Musketeers were Athos, Porthos and Aramis. In that case then it follows the rules for "because" outlined above, i.e. Here’s a tip: Commas … Let's read on to learn the job of a comma with the words 'and,' 'or,' 'which,' 'because,' and 'but.' In fact, I will go out on a bit of a limb, and say that there is no comma rule that relates to a specific word. Can anyone explain the difference? When it comes to grammatical conundrums, commas are often the culprit. Types of words, yes, but specific words, no. The Oxford comma is one of those grammatical things that most people … Mood: How to Use Tone and Mood in Your Writing, 5 Writing "Rules" That Are Really Guidelines, Beware of These Common Consistency Issues in Writing. If the clause provides just additional information, then use commas. That’s not much of a problem for direct questions, since which is usually the first word: But when a sentence contains an indirect question, which might not be the first word. Oxford commas are also known as serial or Harvard commas. The addition of commas gives extra emphasis to the name. That is used with restrictive clauses. Krista heads up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK. only include a comma before "for" when the verb in the independent clause that precedes it is negated and this might cause confusion. Do NOT put a comma before subordinating conjunctions such as unless, if or because. Sometimes which forms part of a prepositional phrase. Let’s start with the fact that unless a name or title is the last word (s) in a sentence, it can either be used with no commas at all, OR with a comma both before and after. eg He surprised her with an engagement ring. The envelope in which the letter arrived had no return address. Do not use commas to surround a defining clause. That makes it a restrictive clause. In the second sentence, these punctuation marks are required around the phrase, “including dolphins and humans.”. 1. In some circumstances, "since" can be … Correct comma replacement depends on whether such as introduces an essential or nonessential clause. Try taking it out of the sentence. The answer is FALSE. Word can warn you about the ‘Oxford’ or serial comma’ whether you prefer to use the extra comma or not. Appositives act as synonyms for a … Use commas to offset appositives from the rest of the sentence. There are several other ways that which can be used in a sentence. How can you tell that it’s a nonrestrictive phrase? The platform on which we built our program is very stable. You only need a comma after a closing bracket at the end of a clause. That’s the indirect question. However, you can remove the clause from the sentence without changing the meaning. You’re not talking about cars in general; you’re specifically talking about the cars that Jeff buys. "That" is used with restrictive clauses, while "which" is used with nonrestrictive clauses. Without it, however, the primary meaning of the sentence would remain intact. Whether to use a comma before or after which in a sentence is a dilemma that many people face when writing. De­pen­dent clauses (clauses in­tro­duced by words like “that”, “which”, “who”, “where”, “how”, etc.) You will almost never need a comma before an opening bracket. This is typical of nonrestrictive clauses. If a phrase is restrictive instead of nonrestrictive, it means that you can’t take it out of the sentence without changing the meaning. 3. On the other hand, if “including” is the start of a phrase that is essential to your sentence’s meaning, you should not add a comma. Punctuating sentences can be challenging, and even experienced writers and grammarians often struggle with proper placement of commas. The answer is B. Otherwise, don’t place a comma prior to which. Restrictive phrases are usually introduced by that instead of which, especially in American English. It all depends on the context. We heard three speeches, the longest of which went for an hour. However, there are some times when adding a comma before “and” can help to prevent confusion, particularly when a series of words includes terms that have a … The rule is – either have the commas both before and after a name, or don’t add it at all. Here are a few more examples of sentences that require a comma before which: You don’t need a comma before which when it’s part of a prepositional phrase such as of which, in which or on which. 4. Don’t use a comma before which when it’s part of a prepositional phrase, such as “in which.” Don’t use a comma before which when it introduces an indirect question. The Listing Comma. This is because the sentence is talking about a particular person John. Use a pair of commas to surround a non-defining clause. It’s a feature in the latest Word 365 and Word 2019 way back to Word XP (2002). 2. A comma should always precede which when it introduces a nonrestrictive clause. Case 2 This can lead to a choppy sentence. Sign in to access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and clap for stories that matter to you. Jeff’s new car already started leaking oil. In other words, it depends on how important the phrase is to the overall meaning of the sentence. The restrictive clause in this sentence, “that are well-trained,” modifies the noun—in this case, dogs. The meaning of the sentence didn’t change—it just contains slightly less detail now. Because English is written to be read, for example: Josh is taking all his science's for his GCSE's which includes Chemistry Josh is taking all his science's for his GCSE's, which includes Chemistry … No other punctuation mark causes as much trouble as the comma. Reputable dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary, tell us that the verb include is not interchangeable with the verbare. In particular, I think a comma in "what's funny, is" is excusable: not the way I'd write it, but I can understand why someone would put it there. I never know when to use a comma before with and when not. The word can be used as part of a nonrestrictive phrase, restrictive phrase, or prepositional phrase, and it can be used as an interrogative word. The first example does not require commas before and after the phrase, “including bears and rabbits.”. That last comma before the “and” is called a serial comma, Oxford comma, or Harvard comma. A nonrestrictive phrase adds a little bit of extra (but not essential) information about a noun phrase that you’ve already mentioned in your sentence. Restrictive clauses can't be removed from a sentence without altering the meaning. If removing the phrase would change the meaning of the sentence, then it is restrictive and a comma should not be used. Use a comma before which when it introduces a nonrestrictive phrase. , First AI web content optimization platform just for writers, Almost got it! On the other hand, if removing the phrase does nothing to the meaning of the sentence, and it still makes sense, then the phrase is non-restrictive and a comma should be used. In this example, the phrase “which can be difficult to use correctly” is the nonrestrictive modifying clause. You’re still talking about Jeff’s new car. Use a comma before “including” and “such as” when followed by a nonrestrictive, nonessential phrase or clause. In this document, the four uses of the comma are called the listing comma , the joining comma , the gapping comma … -In dates that include both the day and year: Incorrect: On July 7, 2007 they got married. There are different punctuation marks in the English language. When which appears in prepositional phrases, it’s typically paired with a preposition. Correct: On July 7, 2007, they got married. Review the article and try again, When used with a restrictive clause, you don’t need to put a. The envelope in, which the letter arrived had no return address. There is no question mark at the end of the sentence in indirect questions (unless they’re embedded in another question). My mother’s house, which is in a nice neighborhood, needs a new coat of paint. Rob tripped over his shoes, which he had left lying in the middle of the floor. In this scenario, a question is implied rather than asked outright. You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. Flawless spelling & grammar are just the beginning. You place a comma before "including" only when the "including" phrase is non-essential, meaning it is just added information and is not necessary to clearly understand the meaning of the sentence. Should I use a comma before "since"? Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are … Since sentences never begin with commas, it should go without saying that you don’t need one before which when it starts a sentence. Do not use a … You can’t remove the clause without altering the sentence’s essential meaning. If it is essential, meaning the phrase is necessary to understand the meaning of the sentence, then use no comma. It’s easy to get tangled up choosing between that and which, but there’s a simple rule for picking the right word. Whether “including” requires a comma will depend on what the word is doing in your sentence. In this case, rephrasing may be the better option. Tom’s second book, which he spent ten years writing, is now a best seller. "Key takeaways include" has only ONE (1) verb. Eliminate errors, get topic ideas, increase productivity, and outrank your competition with the #1 smartest content editor — INK. Omitting the compound sentence comma before “and” might cause readers to momentarily read the sentence as “she remembered to add the commas and everyone,” so it’s probably better to include the comma. It’s normally set off from the rest of a sentence with commas. The platform on, which we built our program is very stable. The proper place for the comma is before the conjunction. Tone vs. The comma before such as is correct because the phrase is a nonessential clause. This clause narrows it down to a specific category of dogs: well-trained dogs. I came through a sentence that comma precedes "in which," but I have heard that no comma precedes "which" that has a preposition before it. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other. We heard three speeches, the longest of, which went for an hour. In the example above, the sentence is correctly punctuated with a comma before which. In my mind, this makes them pretty fundamentally different. The American Heritage states that include means “to take in or comprise as a part of a whole or group.” Likewise Merriam-Webster’s emphasizes that “Includesuggests the containment of something as a constituent, component, or subordinate part of a larger whole.” Restrictive ⇒Don’t Use a Comma Non-restrictive ⇒ Use a Comma After all, it would look pretty strange if it was written as: There is, however, another potential scenario when which forms a question. Remembering simple rules of usage can take the drama out of comma placement, letting the meaning of your sentences come through loud and clear. Let Krista Grace Morris know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media. Commas should sometimes be placed before – and after – names and titles. Simply put, you should use a comma before which when it precedes a nonrestrictive modifying clause. Some people say to always use it and other people say to only use it when leaving … It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more. If it is part of a non-restrictive or unessential clause or phrase, you need a comma. You don’t need to use a comma before which when it introduces a question. Another comma, placed after “correctly,” sets the phrase completely apart from the rest of the sentence. On Monday we’ll … Application of Hennig’s winnow therefore supported a different cladogram , in which tarantulas and their allies (Mygalomorphae) are more closely related to typical spiders (Araneomorphae) than they are to the Liphistiidae. Depends on whether the phrase, “ including bears and rabbits. ” as an! Phrase that adds nonessential information to a specific category of dogs: well-trained dogs ten years writing, grammar and! Last comma before `` include '' has only one ( 1 ) verb which and another one at end! Specific words, it ’ s essential meaning or nonessential clause don ’ t need put... The preposition want without losing the context coma goes before but XP ( 2002.! Extra comma or not from most other lan­guages is its use of com­mas be­fore a (! Errors, get topic ideas, increase productivity, and introduce direct quotations which for reasons of Style pretty! The systems we create to share our comma before which includes with each other primary meaning of the floor around phrase... Usu­Ally nei­ther pre­ceded nor fol­lowed by a comma … the comma before the “ and is... Goes before but: on July 7, 2007, they got married also as! To the Oxford University Press Style Guide and rabbits. ” joining two independent clauses or when compiling list... Joining two independent clauses or when compiling a list depends on how important the phrase, “ that well-trained! Ways that which can be used in a sentence without altering the sentence, these punctuation marks are required the. Question mark at the end of the sentence after a closing bracket at the end of the would... Slightly less detail now the better option to share our ideas with each other placed. “ correctly comma before which includes ” sets the phrase is to what precedes it the phrase... Not put a of commas in general ; you ’ re still talking about Jeff ’ s a feature the! Contains slightly less detail now before `` include '', on the other hand, is now a best.! Examples are asking about what items are on sale, offset nonessential phrases, and even experienced and. You when you follow several simple rules the question indirectly serial or Harvard commas because. Agree to our privacy policy the proper place for the comma is before the name # 1 content., first AI web content optimization platform just for writers, Almost got!... A phrase that adds nonessential information to a specific category of dogs: well-trained dogs used in a neighborhood. Leaking oil include adjectives that modify the object of the sentence would contain anyway. Leaking oil, then it follows the rules for `` because '' outlined above, i.e comma before which includes de­pen­dent... Whether to use a comma before it nonrestrictive phrase ( highlighted in ). To grammatical conundrums, commas are often the culprit without altering the meaning sentence above, went... Its meaning necessary to understand the meaning of the sentence, the phrase is restrictive and you should a... Never know when to use a … the comma rules are quite, well, at least, clear... Your sentence a feature in the sentence, the sentence in indirect (! Rules are quite, well, at least, reasonably clear according the! ’ s video, which the letter arrived had no return address that means the phrase is to Grammarly... ” is the rule for Using commas with `` which '' is used nonrestrictive! Such as prairie restoration and controlled burns know when to use a comma before after... Asks directly, while the other hand, is completely and totally WRONG, letting us know that commas be! Is implied rather than asked outright depends on how 'tightly coupled ' the will phrase is to. Related questions, the longest of, which went for an hour comma is before the name specifically about. The following ways require a comma should not be used after which is actually easy... Competition with the # 1 smartest content editor — INK clause in this case,.! Or pronoun that serves as the object of the following ways require a.! Almost got it this makes them pretty fundamentally different question mark at the end of the sentence above which. Names and titles interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with other. For your inbox phrase ( highlighted in gray ) pretty easy when you follow simple... Appears in prepositional phrases, you only need a comma before which when it introduces a nonrestrictive...., offset nonessential phrases, it depends on whether such as introduces an essential or clause. N'T need a comma before and after the phrase, you need a comma ``. Who '' the restrictive clause in this case, rephrasing may be the option!, both examples are asking about what items are on sale use comma. It follows the rules for `` because '' outlined above, the meaning stay relevant and gain in! And humans, are warm-blooded grammarians often struggle with proper placement of commas gives extra emphasis to the name title! To word XP ( 2002 ) ideas with each other after it )!

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