Do You Remember Comma And Its Importance?
For most students, the comma holds little importance save as a small punctuation mark that they are never very sure about when they are expected to use. In academic writing however, minus the comma means that whatever will eventually be written will make little sense to the reader. This is because even something so small as a single, simple comma, if it is not placed at the right position, can end up altering the entire meaning of a sentence. Consider the following phrases as examples and notice how each of the examples provided here are so different from, and give both the sample punctuated sentences a different outlook and significance altogether.
- Woman and family:
Woman without her family means little.
Woman: without her, family means little.
Woman, without her family, means little.
In the first instance the sentence has been structured in such a way that the woman is given greater importance because without her the family unit, in his sentence at least, is being considered incomplete. On the other hand, in the second instance, the addition of a second comma makes it out that a woman is incomplete without a family to back her up.
- Jogging and hare:
I went jogging and I saw a hare.
I went jogging, and I saw a hare.
I went jogging and saw a hare.
In the first sentence here, the comma before the ‘and’ suggests that it is there before the coordinating conjunction that is ‘and’. In this sentence, we have a separate verb and a separate verb that are joined together be a coordinating conjunction. According to the rules of grammar, this is one instance when a comma has to be placed before an ‘and’. In the second sentence, removing one of the ‘I’s in the sentence means that it is no longer two parts of the same sentence. ‘And’ is no longer a coordinating conjunction and therefore no comma is needed before it.
- Meeting friends and enjoying time out.
I met Jane we went for a jog and later went out for lunch together at the mall.
I met Jane, we went for a jog, and later, went out for lunch together at the mall.
I met Jane. We went for a jog. Later went out for lunch together at the mall.
This sentence again has three parts. In the first example, the meeting with Jane, going for first a jog and then lunch are all different clauses hence the need of commas to support them. In the next instance, separated instead by full stops they make three different sentences. Here, grammatically speaking, both sentences are correct. There is a reason why the first sentence should be given preference however. It sounds more mature, and unless you are using it as a literary device, sentences broken up that short would not suit the formal style required by academic writing.
Simply considering these three examples is enough to understand that using commas in formal writing is not simple, and it is understandable for students to seek help in this case. Why not allow us at Custom Essay Writer to help you out?