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One of the most common editing issues I see being made on this Wiki is improper usage of commas, leading to constant fixes and undos. This blog is designed to give a rundown on how commas should and should not be used.

Separation of items

Use a comma to separate items or elements in a series. No comma is required in a series with only two items or elements.

Example: Twilight attempts to teach Sweetie Belle telekinesis, Apple Bloom how to make growth potions, and Scootaloo how to assemble a unicycle.

Example: Applejack lives and works at Sweet Apple Acres with her grandmother Granny Smith, her older brother Big McIntosh, her younger sister Apple Bloom, and her dog Winona.

Usually, this also applies to conjoining adjectives and other such noun modifiers.

Example: Applejack is a brave, reliable, strong, mature, and hard-working pony.

Independent clauses

Use a comma and a conjunction ("and", "but", "so", etc.) to connect two independent clauses (two sentence portions that form a complete sentence on their own). If either clause does not form a complete sentence by itself, no comma is required.

Example: Applejack takes great pride in her hat. She seldom goes anywhere without it.

Applejack takes great pride in her hat, and seldom goes anywhere without it. <-- WRONG
Applejack takes great pride in her hat, and she seldom goes anywhere without it. <-- CORRECT
Applejack takes great pride in her hat and seldom goes anywhere without it. <-- CORRECT

Introductory elements

Use a comma after clauses that can be used to begin a sentence. This also applies to adverbs.

Example:

Twilight possesses a crown containing the element of magic for the first three seasons of the show.
(OR)
For the first three seasons of the show, Twilight possesses a crown containing the element of magic.

Parenthetical elements

Use commas to split off parenthetical elements (sentence portions that can be removed without changing the essential meaning of the sentence). This extends to appositives, which modify or amplify the word or phrase that come before it.

Example:

She transformed into Nightmare Moon, a "wicked mare of darkness" and vowed to shroud Equestria in eternal night. <-- WRONG
She transformed into Nightmare Moon, a "wicked mare of darkness," and vowed to shroud Equestria in eternal night. <-- CORRECT
Shining Armor, though extremely busy with his duties around the Crystal Empire, still has time for his little sister whom he calls "Twily". <-- WRONG
Shining Armor, though extremely busy with his duties around the Crystal Empire, still has time for his little sister, whom he calls "Twily". <-- CORRECT

Quoted elements

Use a comma to attribute quotes and other quoted elements. No comma is required if the quote is preceded by the word "that" or if it's embedded in a larger structure.

Example:

Twilight says that age spells are "only for the highest level unicorns."
Twilight says regarding age spells, "That's only for the highest level unicorns!"

Summary

I hope this helps users both new and old in using commas properly. If you have questions or feedback, leave them in the comments below. furdklZ.png 2xoHxMt.gif