Definition of comma
- a fragment or smaller section of a colon.
- the part of dactylic hexameter beginning or ending with the caesura.
- the caesura itself.
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Origin of comma
Words nearby comma
MORE ABOUT COMMA
What is a comma?
The comma (,) is a punctuation mark that indicates a pause in a sentence, sets off words, phrases, or clauses, separates items in a list, and performs many other functions.
The comma is one of the most versatile and commonly misused punctuation marks in English. It serves many different functions in English, such as:
- Indicating a pause in speech: I was walking down the street and, um, I was hit with a pie by a clown.
- Separating items in a list: I put my shirts, pants, and socks into my suitcase.
- Separating adjectives: LaShona has a big, hairy dog.
- In numbers larger than 999: I bought a computer for $1,300.
- In dates and addresses: I visited Des Moines, Iowa, on October 17, 2005.
There are many more jobs commas do. For more detailed information on how to properly use commas, read our thorough guide on them.
Why is comma important?
The first records of the word comma come from around 1520. It ultimately comes from the Greek kómma, meaning “a piece cut off.”
Were you surprised that the word comma only dates back to around 1520? In fact, commas themselves aren’t that much older and can be traced back to the first printing of books during the mid-1400s. Before this, writers would use dots and dashes to indicate pauses or separations. The early writers, such as those in ancient Rome and Greece, didn’t use any punctuation at all and all of the writing was scrunched together into large blocks of letters.
Did you know … ?
The comma that is used before the final item in a list is called the Oxford comma (sometimes also called the Harvard comma or the serial comma). This particular comma has surprisingly been a source of debate, and some writing styles, such as the Associated Press, don’t require it to be used. However, omitting the Oxford comma can sometimes lead to some pretty silly sentences.
What are real-life examples of comma?
This funny magazine cover shows why it is important to use commas.
Because they have so many functions, commas confuse even native English speakers.
The big thing I've learned by proofreading a lot of work written by adults is the majority of y'all never learned how to properly use a comma.
— Mik Drake (@MikDrake) January 8, 2021
I took the Grammar Table to Central Park today, and the first, second, and third visitors all asked about the Oxford comma. There is some serious pent-up pandemic demand for Oxford comma discussions.
— Ellen at the Grammar Table (@GrammarTable) September 14, 2021
What other words are related to comma?
True or False?
You can end a sentence with a comma.
How to use comma in a sentence
I wanted it to be a dramedy, although I’d call it more of a comma.
Fake ones use more generic words like “vacation,” “family” and “experience” accompanied by a lot of commas and exclamation marks.
The analysis found characteristics strongly suggestive of bots — such as double commas and dangling commas that often appear with automatic scripts — though at least some of the accounts were being operated by humans.Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter|Isaac Stanley-Becker|September 15, 2020|Washington Post
Cut down on any unnecessary characters like commas and spaces.Why site speed is critical for your SEO success and how to make it happen|Anthony Gaenzle|September 4, 2020|Search Engine Watch
Those little tiny objects are made up of unintelligible commas, spaces, numbers and all sorts of nebulous characters.SEO on a shoestring budget: What small business owners can do to win|Ali Faagba|June 4, 2020|Search Engine Watch
Can it be exported to Excel, or a comma-separated file, for instance?
It was more like punctuation, a real life comma that emphasizes the constant pressures of our daily schedule.
Sort of a combination grammar and punctuation problem, is what I call the “however comma splice.”
Power is the subject, and the execution is precise—even if this book will make you miss the comma terribly.Nicholson Baker, Katie Kitamura, and This Week’s Hot Reads: July 30, 2012|Jimmy So|July 30, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Is it a kind of punctuation, part comma, part full stop, part interrogatory mark?
It was bordered by trees for almost its entire length on both sides, and it was shaped like a enormous, elongated comma.The Campfire Girls of Roselawn|Margaret Penrose
Page 229 Chapter X a comma was inserted in the phrase 'he would secure the competence he had yearned for, for so many years'.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume II (of 3)|Charles James Wills
It was done to please him; for I omitted neither accent, nor comma, nor the minutest tittle of all he had marked down.
Lucas bore it patiently; he didn't want his great-grandchildren and Elaine's shooting it out over a matter of a misplaced comma.Space Viking|Henry Beam Piper
And even if nobody read it through, not even a reviewer, I should have to without skipping a word or a comma.Balloons|Elizabeth Bibesco
British Dictionary definitions for comma
Word Origin for comma
Cultural definitions for comma
A punctuation mark (,) used to indicate pauses and to separate elements within a sentence. “The forest abounds with oak, elm, and beech trees”; “The bassoon player was born in Roanoke, Virginia, on December 29, 1957.”