The major types of commas that writers need:
- Clause independence: After a coordinating conjunction that links 2 independent clauses. E.g. I ate the whole pizza, and my wife never let me forget it.
- Separation anxiety: Used for setting off a parenthetical element from the rest of the sentence. E.g. George Washington, the first president, was also a general.
- Serious about series: Separating the elements of a series. E.g. I like pizza, my wife, and George Washington. (I included an Oxford comma, the comma before “and”)
- Speaking of: Commas are need for dialogue and quotes. E.g. “I like pizza,” I said.
- Omissions: Using commas to indicate omitted words. E.g. I ate the first pizza quickly, the second pizza less quickly. (omitted “I ate”)
- Please repeat: using commas between repeated words. E.g. Whatever you do, do well.