Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

The comma – part 4

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Commas can be used to separate extra information in a sentence. You can tell you have used your commas correctly if your sentence would still make sense without the extra information and the commas.

In the following sentences, the extra information is in bold:

She drove, without wearing a seat belt, as fast as she could.

The book, which was very old, was worth a lot of money.

The film, which received bad reviews, was not seen by many people.

The hotel, which will close soon, is near the sea.

The meeting, held after work, went on for ages.

The sheets, freshly washed and ironed, were put back on the bed.

My friend, who loves to eat out, is coming to stay.

You can see that all of these sentences would still make sense if the additional information in bold and the commas were taken out.

Read about using commas when writing lists

See how commas should be used before certain words and phrases

Find out how commas ensure clarity

More user-friendly punctuation guides

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