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Use a comma:

  • to join 2 independent clauses by a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, for, nor, so).
  • after an introductory phrase, prepositional phrase, or dependent clause.
  • to separate elements in a series (known as the serial comma)
    • When writing a series of three or more items, place a comma between each item (e.g., "after an introductory phrase, prepositional phrase, or dependent clause").

For more information on using commas, please see Punctuating sentences: Commas, semicolons, and colons (Flash presentation). Also, please visit "Back to basics with commas" in Writing Tips.

If you'd like to practice your understanding of commas, please try this exercise: Practice with Commas.

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