The comma “,” is a commonly used symbol in the English punctuation system. The comma is used in various contexts and languages, primarily to separate elements of sentences such as clauses and items in lists when there are three or more items listed. The term “comma” is derived from the Greek word (kómma), which originally signified a cut-off portion.
Back in the third century, Aristophanes of Byzantium created a system of varying degrees of single dots (théseis) that separated verses and indicated the quantity of breath required to complete each fragment of the text when reading aloud.
The various lengths were represented by a dot at the bottom, middle, or top of the line. A comma in the shape of a dot was placed in the middle of a brief sentence. This is where the concept of a comma originated.
When to Use a Comma “,”
A comma must be used between each item in a list.
I enjoy coffee, tea, and pineapple juice.
Note- The final comma in these lists (before the word ‘and’) is referred to as the serial comma.’ Although Oxford Dictionaries use it, all writers or publishers do not utilize it. It is sometimes referred to as “the Oxford comma.”
The use of commas in direct speech
He said, no issues
You should also use a comma at the end of direct speech if it occurs before the information about who is speaking. The comma will be put inside the quotation mark in this case:
‘Here we go again,’ they said.
There are two exceptions to this rule.
a. If a direct speech piece takes the form of a question or an exclamation, it should be followed by a question mark or an exclamation mark.
‘Oh no!’ he yelled.
b. Direct communication is frequently interrupted by information about who is speaking. In these circumstances, a comma should be used to conclude the first piece of speech (inside the quotation mark) and another comma should be used before the second piece (before the quotation mark)
‘No,’ she replied, ‘I don’t believe that.’
To distinguish non-restrictive clauses.
Peter, who has been racing for the past five days, is back on the job.
To set appositives off.
Sri Lankan cricket team, the underdogs, surprised everyone by winning the world cup.
Using commas with dates, titles and numbers
Numbers – 600,000 | 30,000| 5,000
Titles – Fedrick Smith, CEO, has been appointed as the MD
Dates – on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American territories were no longer subject to Britain’s monarch.
Different Types of Commas
, Standard English comma
，Full- width comma
، Arabic comma
⸴ Raised comma
፣ Ethiopian Comma
、Japanese / Chinese comma
᠂ Mongolian Comma
⹌ MEDIEVAL COMMA
𑑍 Newa Comma
꘍ Vai comma
∘ Malayalam Comma
U+002C – Standard comma Unicode