Meme Monday: Grammar RULES!

This Monday, we have more comma memes for grammar instruction, review, and practice.  In case you missed it, check out last week’s comma meme post.

The first meme hints at this rule:

In sentences where two independent clauses are joined by connectors such as and, or, but, etc., put a comma at the end of the first clause.

Incorrect:He walked all the way home and he shut the door.

Correct:He walked all the way home, and he shut the door.

Some writers omit the comma if the clauses are both quite short:

Example:I paint and he writes.

The second meme makes this mistake:

Many inexperienced writers run two independent clauses together by using a comma instead of a period. This results in the dreaded run-on sentence or, more technically, a comma splice.

Incorrect:He walked all the way home, he shut the door.

There are several simple remedies:

Correct:He walked all the way home. He shut the door.

Correct:After he walked all the way home, he shut the door.

Correct:He walked all the way home, and he shut the door.

The Oxford-comma support comes from meme 3:

Use commas to separate words and word groups in a simple series of three or more items.

Example: My estate goes to my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and nephew.

Note: When the last comma in a series comes before and or or (after daughter-in-law in the above example), it is known as the Oxford comma. Most newspapers and magazines drop the Oxford comma in a simple series, apparently feeling it’s unnecessary. However, omission of the Oxford comma can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

Example: We had coffee, cheese and crackers and grapes.

Adding a comma after crackers makes it clear that cheese and crackers represents one dish. In cases like this, clarity demands the Oxford comma.

We had coffee, cheese and crackers, and grapes.

These rules/examples are from grammarbook.com.  

commas 3 commas 4 commas oxford

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