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Home > English > Spelling & grammar > Punctuation

Commas

Separating items in lists

Use a comma between each item in a list, except for the last item where you use and.

He packed a camera, his sunglasses, his swimming trunks and a towel.

In the place of brackets

In a long sentence, you can use commas to separate out extra information and make the sentence easier to read. These commas do the same job as brackets but look a lot neater in your writing.

She packed her bag (which was a Christmas present from her mum) and set off for school. Red cross

When you add a comma, the sentence becomes easier to read:

She packed her bag, which was a Christmas present from her mum, and set off for school.green tick

Between clauses

A clause is a short sentence that could stand alone. You can use commas between clauses to break up compound sentences and make them easier to read.

She went to all the trouble of packing her bag, but she forgot to take it to school.

A girl walking out the door forgetting her bag

Inverted commas

Use inverted commas around something someone has said.

'Will you stop playing games and come and eat your dinner'.

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