I like listening to music. Reading German magazines is something I like to do too.
1. A comma follows a coordinate conjunction (and, or, but, for, nor, so, yet) if both clauses on either side of it are independent.
I like listening to music, and I like reading German magazines.
If one of the clauses on either side of the coordinate conjunction is not independent, no comma is needed.
I like listening to music and reading German magazines.
2. A comma is used to separate individual components of a list of three or more items. Note that a comma is optional before the final "and."
This final comma is called the Oxford Comma and it's your choice whether you want to use it or not.
I enjoy listening to music, reading German magazines, and doing crossword puzzles.
I enjoy listening to music, reading German magazines and doing crossword puzzles.
3. A comma is used on either side of a conjunctive adverb (however, therefore, consequently, etc.) only if the adverb is in the middle of
one clause and you want to emphasize the words before the adverb.
I cannot, however, read German magazines very quickly.
Commas are used in this example because the first part of the sentence (cannot) is very important.
I however cannot read German magazines very quickly.
Commas are not used in this example because "I" is not important.
4. A comma is only used with subordinate conjunctions (because, although, if, when, etc.) if those conjunctions begin the sentence.
Because I find it relaxing, I listen to music.
When those conjunctions appear in the middle of the sentence, no comma is needed.
I listen to music because I find it relaxing.
5. A comma is used after a conjunctive adverb (however, therefore, consequently, etc.) if that adverb appears after a semi colon and the
adverb contains more than two syllables or more than one word.
That German magazine was too difficult for me; consequently, I gave up and instead listened to music.
That German magazine was too difficult for me; therefore I gave up and instead listened to music.
That German magazine was too difficult for me; in fact, it was so difficult that I gave up and instead listened to music.
6. A comma is used between adjectives if the order can be scrambled and the conjunction "and" can be inserted between the adjectives.
That is a relaxing, peaceful song.
You can also say That is a peaceful, relaxing song or That is a relaxing and peaceful song so a comma should be used.
7. Commas should be used around nonrestrictive clauses, that is extra information that isn't necessary in a sentence.
Some German magazines, such as Stern and Spiegel, are difficult for me to read.
If the information is necessary, it should not be separated by commas.
The song that I am listening to now is very good.
8. Use commas with dates, addresses, and titles.
I bought that magazine on Thursday, May 25, 2006.
Note that a comma is not needed if only the month and year are present.
I bought that magazine in May 2006.
Commas follow all elements of an address, but they do not appear before a postal code.
He recorded that song when he lived at 69 Orleans Street, Munich, Germany 81667.
A person's title should be surrounded by commas.
Robert Schmidt, Ph.D, wrote that article.
1. Semi colons can be used to separate two independent clauses if they are somehow related.
I enjoy reading German magazines; it's a great way to improve my vocabulary.
2. Semi colons are used before a conjunctive adverb (however, therefore, then) when the clauses both before and after the adverb are independent.
The crossword puzzle was a piece of cake; therefore I finished it in ten minutes.
3. Semi colons are used to separate items in a series if there are already commas within the series.
I enjoy doing different things in my free time: listening to music; reading books, German magazines, and local newspapers; going for walks; and working on my web site.
1. An apostrophe is used to indicate a possessive noun.
That singer's songs are really popular.
2. An apostrophe is used to indicate a possessive indefinite pronoun.
Someone's German magazine is lying on the table.
3. An apostrophe is used to mark contractions.
I can't read German magazines if the language is too difficult.