Learning to use different punctuation allows
you to gain variety in your writing. This will certainly
increase your test marks! Each student below
wrote a sentence featuring the use of commas. Teacher comments
are in italics. We also discussed the colon ( : ) as an
alternative to a comma in some cases.
I like the rain, colorful leaves and clear
The sentence uses the comma for elements
of a list. In this list are three things: “rain,” “leaves” and
My daughter likes to go to the park because
there are many flowers, trees, and small plants.
Many people say “there’s many people coming to my party.”
“There’s means “there is” but should say “There are.”
I like fall, the comfortable season not cool
and not hot. The sentence is a simple one with an object
noun, “fall.” After the noun comes a comma and then an
“adjective phrase” that tells us more about the fall.
In the fall, many people travel to farms
(orchards) to pick apples. The sentences uses an
“introductory element” (In the fall) and these must have a
comma after. We changed the word “anywhere” to “everywhere”
and then to “farms.” The specific word is usually better than
the general. We also changed “fruit” to “apples” as this fruit
is typical of fall.
Fall is beautiful: the leaves turn to red
and yellow. The first part is a simple sentence ending with
the adjective, “beautiful.” We cannot use the adjective phrase
but we can use a colon (:). A colon says to us what follows
explains what is before.
I like the Canadian autumn and the color of
the leaves: red, orange, yellow and a little bit green.
Here is another use of the colon: a list follows.
In China, I lived in Shenzhen, a southeast
city of the country. The student had omitted the comma
after “In China” and, in this case, I would agree that the
sentence “reads better” without it. Commas work like music and
sometimes we need to use our ears rather than only our grammar
In China I lived in Shenzhen, a southeast
city of the country.
The autumn season in British Columbia,
Canada is full of traditional celebrations such as:
Thanksgiving, Halloween and Remembrance Day. When you use
“such as” to introduce a list, you may not use a colon, too.
But, why not use a colon as above since it looks much fancier
to the teacher who is marking your work!