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The comma is a punctuation character that is placed on the baseline and looks similar to a single quotation mark.

The comma is a punctuation character that is placed on the baseline and looks similar to a single quotation mark. If following a word, it is placed immediately afterwards, but a space follows it when it is followed by another word. If used to set off a word or a phrase (see below), it is omitted when, if put, it would be the first or last character of the sentence.

In English, it is used for the following purposes:

  • to separate clauses
  • to separate items in a list, with the exception of, possibly, the last two items
  • to set off conjunctive adverbs
  • to set off parenthetical phrases
  • between adjectives that equally modify the noun
  • before quotes, when the quote is the object of the verb
  • between the day and the year in a date, if the date is written using the American English format
  • to set off the larger region area in a geographic place
  • between every three digits in large numbers
  • after the last name of a person, in which case it is immediately followed by the first name of that person
  • to indicate a location where a verb has been removed
  • to set off a noun or pronoun that interrupts the flow of the sentence and speaks directly to a reader
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