Grammar Wednesday: COMMA–sequence of events/lists

Welcome! Guess what?! This is the last week on commas! Oh my! Unless someone really doesn’t understand one of the rules or I feel there needs to be a reprise. We’re done! (Yes, why I do believe I overused my exclamation quota for the day.)

Sequences of events and lists are very similar in nature. The first few commas are obvious, while the last one is debatable.

EXAMPLE:

She bent her knees, squatted down, waited for two beats and pushed up to spring into a leap.

Here’s where there issue comes in to play. The first two commas are obvious, they are one event leading into the next event and thus needed, just like in a list. However, the last comma is optional. The best way that I can describe whether or not a person puts a comma in there is regionally. I grew up all over the United States and that afforded me the opportunity to learn this grammatical style (that is sarcasm, I hope you know). In California, I was told no comma. In Montana, I was told comma.

Really, that last comma is up to you and your preference. I will beg of you, however, to please, please, please, PLEASE be consistent in whichever way you decide to do it. Do not change back and forth throughout the document.

Now…practice time.

EXAMPLE
1. I had to go to the store and get a few things: baking soda vinegar food coloring and the likes for that experiment.

RESOLUTION
I had to go to the store and get a few things: baking soda, vinegar, food coloring and the likes for that experiment.

EXAMPLE
1. Grace’s shoes pounded on the ground as she ran she breathed hard her pace increased and sweat trickled down the sides of her temples to her collar.

RESOLUTION
Grace’s shoes pounded on the ground, as she ran she breathed hard, her pace increased and sweat trickled down the sides of her temples to her collar.

Hope this makes sense! Catch you next week where I’ll be discussing how to resolve comma slices. That should be the next five weeks. ttfn.

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA–Introductory/Concluding phrases and words

The introductory phrase can be a bit confusing, but it’s probably one of the easiest rules to remember.

EXAMPLE:

1. If she goes out to the bar, she will get drunk.
2. “So, that’s what you meant.”
3. When that happens, you run.

All of those have introductory phrases or words.

PRACTICE:

Example:

1. When the world goes round I feel dizzy.

RESOLUTION:  When the word goes round, I feel dizzy.

2. Well that’s just perfect.

RESOLUTION: Well, that’s just perfect.

Concluding words are a bit easier. Tag on a comma just before the concluding phrase.

EXAMPLES:

1. They went to the party, too?
2. How the hell did you do that, then?

I think you can figure those out those without practice examples.