Writing Skills: When to use commas with FOR, AND, BUT, OR, YET, SO, NOR

Do you know how to use commas? In this lesson, you'll learn simple rules for using commas with coordinating conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctions connect two ideas or clauses in a sentence. We'll look at the most common conjunctions: 'for', 'and', 'nor', 'but', 'or', 'yet', and 'so'. Knowing how to place commas in your sentences will help you to write better, and will make your writing easier to read. This grammar lesson is essential for anyone who wants to improve their English writing. It is especially important for university writing, or if you're taking IELTS or TOEFL. So join me in this fun lesson, and learn to love the comma! And take the quiz on this lesson at http://www.engvid.com/writing-skills-commas-conjunctions/

TRANSCRIPT

Fanboy and Comma girl, a love story. By Mr. E. Hi. I'm James from engVid. And you're probably wondering: What the hell am I talking about? Fanboy and Comma… Comma Girl, okay? She's a superhero, and our boy loves her. In case you don't know what a fanboy is because you may not follow comics or movies as religiously as these guys do, I've got a definition for you. So let's just read: What is a "fanboy"? A person who is loyal to a game, person, or company, regardless if it sucks or not. That's not quite true, but what they are talking about is that fanboys love their products. If they love Apple, it is the best the universe has ever produced. And if Apple does something wrong, help them, somebody help them because they will be angry. But generally put, they just love their products so much, they let everybody know about them. Anybody with ears that will listen or who cannot escape from them. All right?

So how does this have anything to do with English and grammar? Well, this is a grammar lesson, and I find sometimes grammar can be incredibly boring, so let's make it a little bit fun. So we created a love story by Mr. E. Now, let's start off with comma. Because what is this lesson about? It's how, well, conjunctions, which I'm going to get to, work with commas and sentences. Some of you might have problems with them, I mean, some of you might even go: "Conjunctions, what are they?" So I'm going to talk about the most common conjunctions, and I'm going to talk about comma usage. Okay? We're going to do a quick lesson, here, and I'll make it fun. You ready?

So the first thing we should talk about is a comma. What is a comma? It's a punctuation mark. When you have sentences, there's a time to take a breath or to complete it. Okay? Now, periods, you may know, end sentences or ends thoughts. A comma sometimes gives us a breath or it gives us a pause between parts of a sentence, or gives you time to catch your breath, or get part of an idea. Okay? We also use it for lists. There's Frank, okay? Frank, Billy, John, Susie, you know, lists. Lists of things. Knives, forks, scissors, dah, dah, dah, and you'll have comma, comma, comma, separating them, keeping them individual. And finally, we can also… Well, there's more uses, but these are general. We can use them for numbers, large numbers. You know this, we can say 1,000, there'll be a comma to indicate 1,000, and two commas to indicate 1,000,000. So largers… Numbers larger than 1,000, you'll have commas somewhere. All right? That's basically what the comma is used for. Three different uses.

So, what are fanboys? Well, I told you they're excited about everything, right? Well, there's a little bit more than that. They're conjunctions. If we look here, I wrote "conjunction", and I put exactly what a conjunction is. It means to join something together. In this case, when we have usually conjunctions, we join two ideas together. If we use a conjunction with a comma, normally you're going to have clauses, and the clauses will be balanced or equal. Okay? Later on we'll go into all of that, but that's what's going to happen when we have usually a comma and a conjunction. You know, there are clauses being used and they're balanced.

But: "What are the conjunctions?" you might ask. Well, let's start off with… These are the basic ones. There are more, but these are the most common ones, and we use this acronym which is a word made up from the first letter of each word so you have something that's easy to remember, and I chose FANBOYS. And in a second, I'll reveal why. "For", it gives you a reason. Why did they do this? Okay? "And" ideas that go together.

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