What if you could learn an easy step that would greatly improve your grammar skills without an in-depth course in English? Even if you are already exceptional with your grammar, it can be helpful to understand things in a new light.
Have you ever thought about this: there are two kinds of struggling artists (writers in this case), those struggling to write and those struggling to get people to hire them to write.
Anyway, I say the following, hopefully, to encourage others. You, too, can be like me. :) Ok, maybe that is not such a lofty dream. But you can improve your writing skills, dramatically, by learning just a few key points--or is it commas? The correct use of commas can improve your grammar significantly.
Commas are what used to stump me-no, it was more than stump. It used to make me good at inadvertently antagonizing people. I think I might have even inspired an anti-comma movement. But the reality is, commas can be confusing, and they shouldn't be.
The rules are simple, once they are understood. In fact, once the rules governing this part of grammar are understood, your writing will dramatically improve. How is that for a payoff? A simple step for big gain.
But before we learn the comma rule that brings the most improvement to your writing, we need to understand that there is one more benefit. That is, if comma usage is properly understood, it will not only make your writing of a better quality, it will also save you lots of time, time that would have otherwise been wasted on going back and forth trying to figure out, by clairvoyance, whether a comma should be used at a particular instance or not. Believe me, I have probably wasted more time doing that than I have wasted time sleeping.
The first thing to understand, however, is what commas are NOT for. They are not for breaking up a perfect sentence even thought it seems long, so as to break it into more bite size sections.
The purpose of the comma, in the case of sentences (that is verses dates and states, such as Jan, 2009 or Comma City, NJ.), is to keep the relationships between multiple verbs and subjects in the correct order. In order to keep the verbs from being incorrectly associated with the wrong subject. Or to prevent the connection between the verb and subject from being obscured.
Think of it this way, if you have a complete thought with a subject and a verb and then another complete thought with a subject and a verb connected together with an "and," for instance, you need a comma to separate the two complete thoughts. And if you have a noun on one side of a comma without a verb, and a verb on the other side of the comma without a noun, you need to get rid of the comma.
There are other comma rules to follow, but if you master the one discussed in this article, you will greatly increase your writing efficiency.
Alfred is a freelance writer and editor, and you may learn more about him at http://www.alfredspengly.com.