Ever wonder when to use commas? There are many occasions when commas help—especially when creating a pause in a sentence. A unique instance involves addressing other people.
In other words, you sometimes use a comma before or after a person’s name. That said, only use the comma to show when you are speaking to (addressing) that person.
These sentences communicate two different ideas. Sentence 1 speaks about John and Wendy. In other words, it describes when they go to the store. Sentence 2 speaks directly to John and Wendy, as indicated by the comma. In this case, John and Wendy are being told to go.
Similarly, a comma can precede a person’s name. Again, this can signify who is being addressed.
Several examples can help here:
The comma changes the meaning. Three words remain the same, but the comma signifies meaning.
Notice how the meaning not only differs, but flips! In the first case, help goes to Mr. Grammar. In the second case, help comes from Mr. Grammar. It’s astounding how a single punctuation mark can affect meaning.
Ready for another challenge? Here are two sentences where the comma adds or removes a person:
The difference is subtle, but significant. In the first case, the “you” refers to both John and Wendy. In the second case, three people are being addressed: you, John, and Wendy.
How should use commas in such cases? Surround a person’s name (before, after, or both) to signify that person is being spoken to or not. Use commas if talking to him/her/them. Do not use commas otherwise, such as if you are talking about rather than to them.
Want to proofread or edit ChatGPT text? Get complimentary access to our free step-by-step manual — featuring 30 pages of expert tips!
You may order basic, plus, or premium service.
Although very rare, overnight premium might be slightly delayed (by 1 to 6 hours), depending on the length of the document. If that is an issue, please chat or email us, and we will expedite your order as much as possible.
If you approve of 18-hour service for premium service, use coupon 18HRSERVICE as a special discount for overnight orders.
All other orders will be processed as normal.