Remember the FANBOYS Rule of Using Commas Correctly

Commas are punctuation marks that are most often misused . Leaving a comma or putting it in the wrong place can be confusing, but you can avoid the messy comma by using the FANBOYS acronym.

FANBOYS stands for the coordinating unions For, And, Nor, But, Or, Again and So. We use these words to put together other words, phrases and sentences.

When you see one of these connecting words and there are two complete thoughts in a sentence, you should always insert a comma before the FUNBOYS. If there are no two subjects and two verbs separated by FANBOYS, no comma is needed.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a little tip: try reading the words after FANBOYS to see if they can make up a complete sentence on their own.

Check out the comma handout below for many more rules and usage of this misunderstood punctuation mark. This is a great reminder, although it doesn’t mention one of the funniest examples of “let’s eat grandma” versus “let’s eat grandma”.

Commas | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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