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Almost EVERYONE could use a review of comma rules.
Commas are used
1. After an introductory word or phrase
Ex. Therefore, they left the party giddy.
2. Around non-essential clauses
Ex. The Spanish professor, in the puce, three-piece suit, seems creative.
3. Between city and state — and between month date, and year
Ex. 145 College Road, Suffern, NY
December 1, 2013 marks World AIDS Day.
4. Before a conjunction to join two independent clauses:
He eats like a bear, and he is almost as hairy!
In the United Kingdom, semi-colons are frequently used before a conjunction. But in the US, we use a comma + a conjunction to join two complete ideas instead . Conjunctions to couple with a comma include: and,but, for, nor, or, so and yet.
5. Use a semi-colon to joing together two complete ideas that are related (either to extand an idea or to demonstrat contrast).
The winter is beautiful; however, I prefer summer.