With punctuation marks in English this is the case, frankly, it does not matter. The school emphasis on this subject no one paid, so out of habit when punctuation we expect the Russian rules of punctuation, which, frankly, does not «work» in the English language. But right from the set point much depends on the proposal, because we all remember the example of the Soviet cartoon «can not execute, have mercy.» On our site you can get acquainted with the rules of the use of a comma. Today we look at the most frequently used rules of the comma in the English language. And most importantly, a closer look at the use of the rule so confusing point in the so-called Relative Clause (attributive clause sentences) in English.
A simple sentence
- A comma in a simple sentence (the one syntactic basis — subject and predicate) put: When listing the homogeneous parts of the sentence. A comma can be placed even before the last Union and, in contrast to the Russian language:
I saw milk, vegetables, fruit (,) and tuna tins in the fridge. — I saw the milk, vegetables, fruits and canned tuna in the refrigerator.
When listing the homogeneous parts of the sentence, if the last paragraph is longer than the previous ones, be sure to put a comma:
I spent my holiday on the beach sun tanning, swimming, dancing, and drinking non-alcoholic mojito in the shadow of two palm-trees — I spent my vacation at the beach, sunbathing, swimming, dancing and drinking non-alcoholic mojito in the shade of two palm trees.
- For the isolation of the introductory words, phrases, designs and in cases when it is necessary to avoid the duality of values:
Moreover, I will not tolerate your dismissive attitude — In addition, I will not tolerate your neglect.
To draw a conclusion, I believe we should keep an eye on that situation — sum up, I think we should keep an eye on that situation.
Your velvet dress, I have not noticed it before, looks amazing! — Your velvet dress, I did not notice it before, it looks great.
Unfortunately, I do not know how to help you — Unfortunately, I do not know how to help you.
Summing everything up, you should reconsider your company’s policy -Podvodya up, you should review the policy of your company.
- When referring to one or more people:
Sandra, show me your essay — Sandra, show me his work.
- To express the application standing after the noun:
Oscar Wilde, the father of Aesthetic Movement, was born in 1854. — Oscar Wilde, founder of the Aesthetic Movement, born in 1854.
- When you select a participial phrase:
Having apologized for being late, he continued the job interview. — Sorry for the delay, he went on a job interview.
- The writing of dates separated by the number of years:
I was born on the 19th April, 1990. — I was born on April 19, 1990.
- When making a direct speech:
He asked, «Where did you get those shoes?» — He asked, «Where did you get those shoes?»
Several small simple sentences without coordinative conjunctions and or or separated by commas:
The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the wind was blowing — everything was so peaceful that day in Atlanta. — The sun was shining, birds were singing, the wind was blowing — it was so peaceful that day in Atlanta.
The proposals from the coordinative conjunctions and and but usually a comma. It can not be, if the proposal is very short.
The police questioned him about this involvement with homicide, but he could not tell them anything relevant to that case — the police questioned him about the involvement in the murder, but he could not say anything relevant.
Nobody wanted to talk to him and he was left alone — no one wanted to talk to him, and left him alone.
I tried to give them warnings but everyone ignored me — I tried to warn them, but ignored me.
From school, we’ve learned that in complex sentences should always be a comma. However, in the English language more cases when not put a comma after the union subordination connection.
- Adverbial clause is not separated by a comma, if it is to be in place or predicate:
Where he found that bag is a mystery to me. — Where did he find that bag, it is a mystery to me.
- If the clauses that are the circumstances of place, standing in front of the subject, they have to allocate places:
If you are ever in London, you should visit the Houses of Parliament. — If you ever visited London, then you should visit the Houses of Parliament.
You should visit the Houses of Parliament if you are ever in London. — You should visit the Houses of Parliament, if you ever visited London.
Relative Clauses or Attributive Clause
Which, That, Who (attributive clause offers)
About what function is performed by subordinate attributive suggestions you might guess from the name of these proposals — they are necessary to determine the person or thing. Most often attributive clause offers we can find on the letter, but in the speech we often use them as well. Perhaps you wonder what clauses that begin with that (that), which (who, how), who (which in respect of a person), whose (whose), whom (which is against the person), called attributive clauses or Relative Clause or Attributive Clause. All offers are subordinate attributive identifying (restrictive) and non-identifying (non-restrictive), t. E. Limiting value and limiting. Full details of these proposals, we take a look at an example:
My sister who is from New York came to my place last weekend. — My sister, the one that from New York, came to me last weekend. (identifying or restrictive clause)
What kind of my sisters came to me?
My sister, who is from New York, came to my place last weekend. — My sister, who lives in New York, came to me last weekend. (non-identifying (non-restrictive) clause)
Simple descriptive sentence about his sister, who is one.
At first glance, the difference in the two proposals is not, the same set of words in the same way, hence the sense should be their equal. But, unfortunately, in the English language it is not so simple. Note the placement of commas in the first sentence they did not, and in the second they are after to be my sister. These commas are very important for the value of the entire offer.
In the first sentence the author specifies which of his sisters came to him, it means that it has a few sisters, and it is one that is from New York, I came to him. This is very important information, we can not delete or remove it, t. To. It specifies the details that are important for understanding the meaning of the sentence. In this case, the attributive clause is considered to be identifying (restrictive), t. E. It limits the value of the subject.
In the second sentence the phrase with commas who is from New York is simply additional information from the author of a sister, and he just decided to make additional information that can be easily removed from the proposal without loss of meaning. E. The phrase who is from New York, dedicated a comma is non-identifying (non-restrictive), it can easily be thrown out of the offer without losing the meaning.
Yes, this duality can make some confusion. How to understand what was meant? Whether or not the comma? The speech is only possible to guess from the context that this is very important information. But in writing, if you find a comma, then immediately you will know which clauses in front of you, and how the information in parentheses is important to understand.
Consider other examples of attributive subordination of the proposals and that which. We use that, and which, when we define things, something inanimate (computers, books, films):
The food that (which) we ate last Monday was really good. (identifying (restrictive) clause) — The food we ate last Monday, was very good.
To understand the proposals, we need to know what kind of food was good?
The chair which (that) I got from my grandmother was shabby. (identifying (restrictive) clause) — A chair that I got from my grandmother, was shabby.
Which of all the chairs were battered? There were lots of chairs, and the one that I got from my grandmother, was shabby.
Percy Jackson, which (that) I finished last week, was an interesting book. (non-identifying (non-restrictive) clause) — Percy Jackson, I finished reading the last week has been a very interesting book.
We understand what we mean book, the book of Percy Jackson, and it was interesting. And the fact that I finished reading it last week, is only a description to be Percy Jackson. We can remove this sentence that I finished reading it last week, without loss of meaning of a sentence — a book about Percy Jackson it was very interesting.
Moscow, which (that) is very old, is a multinational city. (non-identifying (non-restrictive) clause) — Moscow, which is very old, is a cosmopolitan city.
We know what they say about Moscow, she is one, we do not need to specify exactly what Moscow. A word which is very old and are descriptive in our view. Moscow is a cosmopolitan city, which is very old can be removed from the proposal, so it stands out a comma.
NOTA BENE: In identifying clause with inanimate objects that we can use, and which, but non-identifying clause, we use only WHICH. Before THAT never be a comma!
Here are some examples of proposals to identifying clause:
The 7-year old boy who gained 60 extra kilos was on TV last night. (identifying clause) — Seven-year boy, who scored the extra 60 kg, was on TV yesterday.
It was the boy, who gained 60 kg, on TV.
The manager whom I spoke to did not let me in. (identifying clause) — The manager with whom I spoke, would not let me.
It is the manager, with whom I spoke, would not let me.
The car which (that) I saw yesterday bumped into a tree. (identifying clause) — The car, which I saw yesterday, crashed into a tree.
It is the machine that I saw yesterday, he crashed into a tree.
The car which (that) he bought is green. (identifying clause) — The car, which he bought the green.
It is the machine that he bought the green.
Here is an example offers a non-identifying clause.
Brad Pitt, whose performance at the «Legends of the fall» is great, is 49 years old. (non-identifying clause) — Brad Pete, whose acting in the film «Legends of the Fall» was great 49 years.
Brad Pitt is one, we do not need precise information about what is Brad Pitt, we only describe his acting in the film «Legends of the Fall» it was great.
Despite the fact that in English rather more punctuation rules, which do not need a comma, the rules of its application, as you already understood, you need to know. Sometimes one such little comma can affect the value of all the proposals and, of course, need to be aware of these features.