5 Common Comma Errors That Make You Look Unprofessional

Despite being a very useful tool in the English language, the comma can cause a lot of confusion among some writers. When using the comma in writing, it is critical to ensure you are using it properly.

This ensures that your writing will be free of unnecessary grammar mistakes, making you look professional in a very quick fashion.

Follow this simple guide to learn all about avoiding common comma errors in your writing.

1. Incorrect Use of Comma Splice

Is among the comma usage mistakes which happens when a person uses a comma to join two independent clauses without using any other form of punctuation. To correct a comma splice, you can use a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) or a semicolon.

For example, you might write something like:

“I wanted to go to the movies, but my friend wanted to go to the park.”

This example is correctly done because you added a comma before the conjunction.

2. Wrong Use of a Comma Before a “That”

Using a comma before the word “that” incorrectly is another mistake. This is incorrect because “that” is not a subordinating conjunction. When using “that” in a sentence, it should not be preceded by a comma. For example:

I wanted to go to the party, that my friends were going to.

The correct version of this sentence would be:

I wanted to go to the party that my friends were going to.

3. Missing Out a Serial Comma

This happens when people forget to place a comma between the last two items in a list of three or more items. For example, the items in the following list should be separated by commas, with the last two items being separated by a serial comma: item one, item two, item three, and item four.

Without the serial comma, it can be difficult to determine whether the final two items go together or if they are separate items. This can be a helpful guide.

4. Misunderstanding the Use of Dependent Clause

A dependent clause is a clause that cannot stand alone as a sentence; it is not a complete thought. It is often used to add information to a sentence. For example:

“He is taller than me, which I find very irritating.”

In this sentence, the dependent clause is “which I find very irritating.”

If you want to use a dependent clause in a sentence, make sure that you connect it to the main clause with a comma.

5. Missing a Comma on Introductory Phrases

Introductory phrases are often followed by a comma to separate them from the rest of the sentence. Without the comma, it can be difficult for readers to determine where the introductory phrase ends. This can lead to confusion, making your writing appear sloppy.

When reading a sentence with an introductory phrase, be sure to pause after the comma.

For example, “In the morning, I like to drink coffee.”

If the comma is missing, as in “In the morning I like to drink coffee,” the sentence may sound choppy.

Know the importance of using a comma, because its use is as important as your output.

Master the Comma Errors in Using a Comma

If you want to master the comma, you need to know when to use it and when not to use it. This can be tricky, but with a little practice, you’ll be a comma pro in no time. Use our guide to help you avoid common comma errors, and you’ll be writing like a pro in no time.

Check out our blog for more helpful tips and guides.

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