Commas With Letters and Numbers Study Guide

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Updated on Sep 22, 2011

Commas With Letters and Numbers

My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green . . .



Commas are also used when writing the date, addressing a formal letter, and in separating components of a large number. In this lesson, you'll learn how to use commas in these various formats.

The list of comma rules continues to show you how commas are used in correspondence, with dates, with professional titles, and within large numbers.

Rule 1: Use commas between the day of the month and the year when you are writing the date.

When dates are written, commas are placed after the day
September 22, 1964 January 1, 2008 May 4, 1945

and after the day of the week if it is noted.

Saturday, February 2, 1985 Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Note: Dates that are written numerically do not contain commas, and instead use slashes.

3/17/93 5/21/91 12/26/57


No comma is necessary if only the month and the day, or the month and the year, are written.

    Neil and Nelly arrive on August 12.
    Neil and Nelly arrive in August 2008.

Rule 2: Use commas when properly addressing an envelope and heading a letter.

Letter/Envelope Format: Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Milling
  59 Pecan Drive
  Selma, AL 36701

When addressing an envelope or letter, place a comma only between the city and state of the address. Notice that there is no comma between the state and the zip code.

Sentence Format: Please send the following order of yellow
  roses to Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Milling, 59 Pecan
  Drive, Selma, AL 36701.

When writing an address within a sentence, commas are placed between the person's name and street address, between the street address and the city, and between the city and state.


When writing the name of a city and state within a sentence, you must place a comma after the name of the state before continuing the sentence:

    We often travel to Orlando, Florida, in the fall because the weather is cooler.

The same rule applies when you mention a city and country name:

    Chiang Mai, Thailand, is a beautiful place to visit as well.

When you write a friendly letter, use a comma after the person's name in the greeting. (In business letters, use a colon instead.) All letters require a comma after the closing

  1257 Perkins Avenue
Succasunna, NJ 07876
July 31, 2008

Dear Rose,

Thank you so much for inviting Neil and Nelly to spend a week with you in the Pocono's. They should be arriving on Tuesday, August 12, around noon. We will arrive on Wednesday the 20th to pick them up. They are looking forward to the trip!

Susan and Bob

Note:Friendly letters are the only letter where you place a comma after the salutation. In a business letter, a colon (:) is used instead. Both letters require a comma after the closing, however.

Rule 3: Use commas to set off titles and degrees after a person's name.

Dolores Burwell, M.D. Mark Di Sanctis, Ph.D.

However, if you are addressing the person as doctor, omit the comma:

Dr. Storlazi Dr. Kevin Rich

Rule 4: Use commas when writing numbers longer than three digits.

Long numbers can be difficult to read without commas. The rule for placing commas in long numbers is simple: Put a comma after every group of three numbers, counted from right to left. This helps identify the groups by their value place (hundreds, thousands, millions, and so on).

5319874621348 = 5, 319, 874, 621, 348 = 5,319,874,621,348
(5-trillion, 319-billion, 874-million, 621-thousand, 3-hundred and 48)
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