Correct Rules of English Grammar for Comma Use and Pronouns
By putting to memory the basic grammar rules of commas and pronoun usage, employees and students will enhance their communication skills and careers. How often students ask "help me write my paper"?
For many people, English grammar seems to be a confusing set of rules that appear to make no sense and cause headaches for speakers and writers alike. Many individuals seem to have problems with the same grammar rules over and over again. The popularity of text messaging and tweeting on Twitter only compounds the problem because users condense language at the expense of correct grammar.
According to Otis Anderson's research, "What communication skills do employers want? Silicon valley recruiters respond," published in the custom writing service (July 2020), even tech companies value strong communication skills "despite the emphasis on skills in technology." That is because communication is the basis for all transactions and can have dire consequences if it is not executed clearly. Learning the following grammar rules regarding comma use and pronoun usage will remove obstacles to writing English as users gain confidence in their ability to write:
Rules for Comma Use
There are several basic rules for using commas:
- Before coordinating conjunction such as: and, but, for, or, nor, so, and yet. For example, I would have called you last night, but I had to study.
- After a subordinate clause (a subordinate clause is a clause that cannot stand alone in a sentence) e.g. If I had known that you were going to the party, I would have suggested that we go together.
- After a prepositional phrase e.g. In the basement, there are several boxes of books.
- To separate three or more words or clauses in a list e.g. I want to buy a new pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and some sandals.
- To separate the main discourse from a quotation e.g. Jennifer announced, "I'm getting married."
- To separate two or more coordinate adjectives (adjectives that can be reversed and still have the sentence make sense) e.g. We stayed inside on that rainy, windy night.
Rules for Pronoun Use
Many essay writers use pronouns based on what they think sounds right, but this is not always a good strategy. For instance, in the following examples, the first sentence might sound better, but in fact, the second sentence is correct:
- CORRECT: My sister and her husband are driving to the cottage with he and I.
- INCORRECT: My sister and her husband are driving to the cottage with him and me.
In the above sentences, "My sister and husband" are the subjects, while "him" and "me" are the objects; therefore, the object pronouns "him" and "me" must be used, not the subject pronouns "he" and "I."
Further, subject pronouns must follow 'to be' verbs. For example:
- CORRECT: It is just I who will be attending.
- INCORRECT: It is just me who will be attending.
Reflexive pronouns such as myself, himself, yourselves, should only be used to refer back to a subject pronoun. In the first sentence, the subject pronoun is "he".
- CORRECT: He dressed himself before his mother got up.
- INCORRECT: Please speak to Dave or myself.
By understanding why and when commas and pronouns are used, English language users will improve their level of language proficiency and pave the way to academic and professional success.