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05/05/2013

Fundamental Comma Rules, Part Three

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I’ve been so busy writing projects for happy clients that I have once again neglected the blog, which I know is a disappointment for my massive readership. But fret not, all of you who yearn to know more about commas. Here is the next fundamental comma rule for your enjoyment and edification. If you’re not interested in learning the rules after all, no worries. We can do all your writing for you, remember.

Rule #3 requires the use of commas with appositives. I guess I better mention what an appositive is, just in case. It’s a noun or a noun phrase that identifies, explains, or renames another noun right next to it. These definitions are never clear without examples, so here you go:

Office Cat, the most valuable member of our team, recently demanded a raise.

The appositive is “the most valuable member of our team,” which of course refers to “Office Cat.” The appositive renames “Office Cat.” Simple, right? Here are a few more examples. I won’t tell you what the appositives are; see if you can figure them out. If you can’t, leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll fill you in.

I’ve had it with this broken dishwasher, the bane of my existence.

Walking, a simple, basic exercise, has multiple health benefits.

I truly dislike geckos, those scurrying, hateful creatures of terror.

I pledge my heart to Chad Kroeger, the handsome and talented frontman of the greatest band in history, Nickelback.

See, not so bad, right? Now try these. I’ve left the commas out this time for a super-fun-time challenge. Where, oh where, do they go?

Do I really have to wait until October for Season 4 of my current TV obsession The Walking Dead?

I would have expected better production values for Revolver Golden Gods the heavy metal awards show.

The Tough Mudder adventure race probably the toughest event on the planet is an interesting combination of fun and misery.

Downward dog a resting pose actually takes quite a bit of effort to master.

Just like Rule #1 and Rule #2, this one isn’t so bad. Commas can get a little tricky, as we’ll see in later installments, but hopefully you’re beginning to feel that this grammar stuff is totally accessible. Woo, punctuation!

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