We’re still on the subject of comma placement. Here are five more rules to help you self-edit your manuscript into publication:

Comma Rule #11: When composite adjectives are used, a comma is not necessary as each of the adjectives modify each other. However, when coordinate adjectives that modify the noun are used, a comma should be placed between the adjectives.

Example: The murky green waters of the bayou were not enough to prevent the hungry, lurking, predatory gator from searching for a tasty meal.

In the above example, murky describes the green and green describes the waters, while hungry, lurking, and predatory all describe the gator.

Comma Rule #12: When setting out examples introduced by such as or especially, a comma is used.

Example: I love specialty candies, such as truffles and key lime fudge.

Comma Rule #13: Use a comma when a word or a part of a sentence is omitted.

Example: Some classmates I met at my last reunion were successful; some, more so.

Comma Rule #14: When adjectives follow the noun they describe, they are set off with commas.

Example: The picnic table, scarred by the etching of teenage lovers, sits as it has always done beside the concession stand.

Comma Rule #15: When a statement is followed by a confirmatory question, the question is set off from the sentence with a comma.

Example: John will make it here for Christmas, won’t he?

Next week we’ll discuss the last five rules of comma placement.

Please have a very Merry Christmas.

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