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Commas that Separate: Writing Skills Success Study Guide

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Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Exercises for this concept can be found at Commas that Separate: Writing Skills Success ractice Exercises.

The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words.

—George Eliot, British poet (1819–1880)

Lesson Summary

Besides setting off sentence parts, commas are used in many other situations. This lesson reviews the many instances in which you should use commas to separate sentence elements.

Commas are used to separate or clarify relationships between sentence parts to make the meaning of a sentence clear and easy to grasp. In this lesson, you'll learn how to use commas to separate independent clauses, items in a series, items in a date or address, two or more adjectives preceding a noun, and contrasting elements and words that interrupt the flow of thought in a sentence. The last section of the lesson explains how to use commas in the greetings and closings of a friendly letter.

Begin by seeing how much you already know about commas that separate. Add commas where you think they are needed to the Problem column. Check your answers against the corrected version in the Solution column. Try to identify the rules that apply to those you missed as you go through the lesson.

Problem

Dear Ms. Ames

I want to thank you for writing the recommendation letter. It was a very kind gesture. I also wanted to tell you that Mr. Matthews the director of the camp offered me the counselor job. I will work at Camp Arrowhead in June July and August. Additionally I will accompany the campers on a week-long trip to Hershey Pennsylvania.

I will have many responsibilities at the camp but most of my time will be spent organizing the sports activities. I will be teaching the campers to play soccer basketball and tennis all sports that I happen to love. Louise who directs the sports program at Camp Arrowhead is an accomplished athlete with a dynamic personality. I am looking forward to working with her.

Ms. Ames I am so grateful for all your support. Without your guidance as well as your confidence in me I wouldn't have received this job offer. When I begin my summer job I will be ready to make an excellent impression as an eager and well-prepared young woman. This summer thanks to you will be one that I will never forget.

By the way you can write to me at Camp Arrowhead 303 Valley Road Lebanon Pennsylvania.

Sincerely,

Solution

Dear Ms. Ames,

I want to thank you for writing the recommendation letter. It was a very kind gesture. I also wanted to tell you that Mr. Matthews, the director of the camp, offered me the counselor job. I will work at Camp Arrowhead in June, July, and August. Additionally, I will accompany the campers on a week-long trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania.

I will have many responsibilities at the camp, but most of my time will be spent organizing the sports activities. I will be teaching the campers to play soccer, basketball, and tennis, all sports that I happen to love. Louise, who directs the sports program at Camp Arrowhead, is an accomplished athlete with a dynamic personality. I am looking forward to working with her.

Ms. Ames, I am so grateful for all your support. Without your guidance, as well as your confidence in me, I wouldn't have received this job offer. When I begin my summer job, I will be ready to make an excellent impression as an eager and well-prepared young woman. This summer, thanks to you, will be one that I will never forget.

By the way, you can write to me at Camp Arrowhead, 303 Valley Road, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

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