Correct placement of commas is perhaps one of the most frightening subjects of who will face the Enem or the college entrance examination. The subject falls in the language test and also in the Writing, so it is important to know at least the basics.
The main difficulty in using commas according to normative grammar seems to be the relation that exists with the syntax. The complicated names and rules make the students “escape” from the topic. But with these commas, you’re going to drop out of the way.
Subject and verb
The comma does not separate subject and verb. This is a rule of thumb! But many people find it difficult to identify the subject.
The ideal is to start by finding the main verb. It is that word that indicates action, what is occurring or being done. You can think of this: if you just hear that word in the middle of a noisy party, you already have an idea of what is happening.
The next step is to find out who is doing it. Students tend to use the idea that “commas are when they stop to breathe”. But when the subject is very long, this idea does not work. See example.
The detailed and crude description of the reality of both groups in his work contributes to this role.
Following the step by step, we identify the verb “contribute.” The subject is “the description”, but not only that word, since the whole passage “The detailed and crude description of the reality of both groups in his work” refers to who does the action of “contribute.”
Before “but”, always
This mallet has no confusion. Always before “but” goes comma.
But is there no exception? Of course, as you see here in this paragraph: if the “but” begins the sentence, hence there is no comma before it. But no sentence starts with punctuation, right?
And there is one more thing: this rule is for the “but”, but it does not apply to “e”. The two connectives tend to be studied together, but they do not always work in the same way when the subject is punctuated.
Before gerund (-ndo)
Speaking of difficult names, many people already open their eyes when he hears “gerund.” This is the “full name” of the verbs ending in -ando, e-andindo, like “talking,” “eating,” and “sleeping.” Often these verbs are called “telemarketing language”, because professionals in this segment often use these constructions a lot.
In writing and proof of English, gerunds usually appear in explanations. See example:
- The tests are not difficult, depending on how hard you study.
Here, “depending” is on the gerund. So the comma appears before him. See that it is not a subject / verb situation, because the phrase is about the difficulty of the proofs, that is, the verb is “to be.”
One more name to complicate your head? Calm! You do not have to do a whole syntactic analysis to find out if you have a comma or not.
The connectors serve to connect two pieces of information. In the case of subordinate clauses, the sentence does not make sense on its own. That is, if you just say that to someone, the person will not understand. Look:
Although it was not so.
What was “not so”? We can not know, because this sentence alone does not explain. These loose phrases are called the Siamese phrases. Now let’s look at a complete example:
- He studied for half an hour and thought he would pass, although it was not so.
Ah, now we can know what “it was not like that”. So, as the example shows, we use commas before “though.”
Here’s a list of the main connectives that come after comma:
- despite (that) / despite this
- even so
- if no
- not even if
- for more / less than
- as well as
- so that
Careful with the little pranksters
These comma-use tricks are very useful on trick questions. Some vestibulares invert the order of prayers and remove the comma, which can not occur.
Another common trick of proof is to change the meaning. Thus, the “mas” is removed, for example, and an “e” is used, which does not require a comma.
Stay tuned for these pranks and try to take the time to reread your essay before you deliver. So you can adjust the score. A little calmness and attention help a lot to identify these cases and guarantee extra points in your dissertation!