Commas: The first set of rules…
1. Use commas to separate items in a series.
For example: I like running, swimming, and biking.
My best friends are Mike, Jane, and Sue.
I need to dust the countertops, vacuum the carpet, and wash the dishes.
Note: If all items are joined by and or or, do not use commas to separate them.
For example: I like running and swimming and biking.
My best friends are Mike and Jane and Sue.
Note: Some words, like bread and butter or law and order—are used in pairs and are considered one item in the series.
For example: For dinner I had chicken, macaroni and cheese, and green beans.
2. Use commas to separate two or more adjectives before a noun.
For example: the dirty, dusty book; the warm, sunny day
Tip: Only put a comma between the words if you could reverse their order
For example: the dusty, dirty book; the sunny, warm day
Note: If the last adjective before the noun is considered part of the noun, omit the comma before that adjective
For example: the angry, white-haired old lady; the old, green coffee mug
Go here to practice: