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business english 2e by mary chapter 10

10
Commas

MARY ELLEN GUFFEY AND CAROLYN M. SEEFER

BUSINESS
ENGLISH
12e

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as
permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management
system for classroom use.
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L E A R N I N G

O U T C O M E S

Level 1


▶. Use commas correctly in series, direct address,
and parenthetical expressions.

▶. Use commas correctly in punctuating dates, time
zones, addresses, geographical items, and
appositives.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

2


Basic Guidelines for Using Commas
 Series
 Direct Address
 Parenthetical Expressions


Dates



Time Zones



Addresses



Geographical Items



Appositives

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

3


 Series



Use commas to separate three or more equally ranked elements
(words, phrases, or short clauses) in a series.



Remember to place a comma before the conjunction introducing
the final item in a series.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

4


 Series Examples
Series of Words: He submitted all production, distribution, sales, and
financial data.

Series of Phrases: Government is of the people, by the people, and for
the people.
Series of Clauses: Lee investigated hiring, Kelly studied compensation,
and Mark researched benefits.

Repeated Conjunctions (no commas needed): I copied and Mike
collated and Lisa stapled.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

5


 Direct Address



Direct address occurs when a person is being addressed or
spoken to directly, rather than being spoken about.



Use commas to set off words and phrases of direct address.

We assure you, Ms. Ortiz, that your bill will be corrected.
Do you know when the results
will be available, Dr. Martin?
Professor Lacayo, here is my final project.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

6


 Parenthetical Expressions



Use commas to set off nonessential words, phrases, and
clauses.



Examples of parentheticals:

as a result

however

needless to say

by the way

in addition

nevertheless

consequently

in conclusion

no doubt

finally

in fact

of course

for example

in the meantime

that is

fortunately

incidentally

yes/no

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

7


 Parenthetical Expressions Examples

By the way, have you made your appointment yet? (Beginning of
sentence)
You did, no doubt, make payment with a credit card. (Middle of
sentence)
We’ll need an answer immediately, needless to say. (End of
sentence)
Exception:
We have no doubt that your plan will succeed.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

8


 Dates



When dates contain more than one element, use commas to
set off the second and following elements.

A sales record was set November 14 in Chicago. (No comma needed for one element.)
A sales record was set Wednesday, November 14, in Chicago. (Two commas set off
second element.)
A sales record was set Wednesday, November 14, 2017, in Chicago. (Commas set off
second and third elements.)
In April 2016 we opened a second office. (Exception: The comma is omitted in writing
month and year only.)

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

9


 Time Zones



Use commas to set off time zones used with clock times.

Our virtual meeting will be promptly at 1:30 p.m., PDT.
His flight left at 11:10 a.m., EST, and arrived in Los Angeles at
1:50 p.m., PST.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

10


 Addresses



When addresses are written in sentence form, separate the
parts of the address with commas.



Do not place a comma between the state and zip code.

The letter from Jane Mangrum, Miami-Dade Community College,
Miami, Florida 33176, was provocative.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

11


 Geographical Items



In geographical items use commas to set off a state when it
follows the name of a city.

We received inquiries from New York City, New York, and
Tampa, Florida.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

12


 Geographical Items



In geographical items also use commas to set off the name of
a country when it follows the name of a city.

Last summer we traveled to Paris, France, and London,
England, for our honeymoon.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

13


 Appositives



Appositives rename, describe or explain preceding nouns or
pronouns.



Use commas to set off an appositive that provides information
not essential to the identification of its antecedent.

Douglas Dawson, the wireless customer service rep, called.
(The appositive adds nonessential information; commas set it off.)

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

14


 Appositives



When an appositive is essential (needed to identify the noun or
pronoun referred to earlier in the sentence), do not set it off
with commas.

The wireless customer service rep Douglas Dawson called. (The appositive is
needed to identify which sales representative called; therefore, no commas
are used.)



One-word appositives do not require commas.

My brother Keith will visit in December. (One-word appositives do not require
commas.)
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

15


TRY
TRY YOUR
YOUR SKILL
SKILL

Insert needed commas in

1.

Conservationists are working to save
endangered tigers whales pandas and

these sentences.

rhinos.

2.

,

,
,

They fear as a matter of fact that the great
Series

apes will soon become an endangered
species.

,

,

Parenthetical Expression
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
management system for classroom use. © Larysa Ray/Shutterstock
© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

16


TRY
TRY YOUR
YOUR SKILL
SKILL

Insert needed commas in

3.

,

George Schaller a world-renowned field

,

biologist said that conventional approaches

these sentences.

have not worked.

4.

Our next meeting is at 1 p.m. EST in
Providence Rhode Island.

Appositive (nonessential)

,

,

,

Time Zone, Geographical Item
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

17


TRY
TRY YOUR
YOUR SKILL
SKILL

Insert needed commas in

5.

Conservation International held a meeting
on Monday November 17 in Rio de Janeiro

these sentences.

Brazil to discuss the Amazon ecosystem.

,

6.

,

,

Do you plan to attend the meeting Dr.
Leavey?

Date, Geographical Item

,
Direct Address

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

18

,


L E A R N I N G

O U T C O M E S

Level 2

▶. Use commas correctly in punctuating independent
adjectives and with the adverb too.

▶. Use commas correctly in punctuating introductory
verbal phrases, prepositional phrases, independent
clauses, introductory dependent clauses, terminal
dependent clauses, and nonessential clauses.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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19


Special Guidelines for Using Commas
 Independent Adjectives
 With the Adverb too
 Introductory Verbal Phrases


Prepositional Phrases



Independent Clauses



Introductory Dependent Clauses



Terminal Dependent Clauses



Nonessential Clauses

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

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 Independent Adjectives



Use a comma to separate two or more adjectives that equally
modify or describe a noun.

The well-written, exciting book will be made into a film.
How many laborious, inefficient procedures can we eliminate?

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

21


 With the Adverb too



When the adverb too is used to mean “also” and appears at the
end of a sentence or clause, omit the comma.



If too appears elsewhere in a sentence, set it off with commas.

Many employees voted for the proposal too. (End of sentence—
no commas)
My supervisor, too, voted for the proposal. (Middle of sentence
—commas)

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

22


 With the Adverb too



When the adverb too is used to mean “excessively,” omit
commas.
Some people talk too much during meetings.
Some people think baseball players are paid too much.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

23


 Introductory Verbal Phrases



Verbal phrases that precede main clauses are followed by
commas.



Prepositional phrases containing verb forms are also followed by
commas.
To complete the job, we must work overtime.
Hoping to get a seat, James arrived early.
Shocked, we listened to the CEO’s announcement.
By offering better benefits, we were able to attract better
candidates.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

24


 Prepositional Phrases



Follow one or more introductory prepositional phrases
totaling four or more words with a comma.

For the past six months, wireless service has been erratic.
In the spring of next year, we will purchase new laptops for
the office staff.

© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning
© 2017 Cengage Learning®. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.
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© Larysa Ray/Shutterstock

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