“I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.”
Commas are possibly the most confusing punctuation. Sometimes even English teachers are confused by them, which has led to the “shortcut” approach of telling students this myth: “Put a comma where you feel the need for a pause.”
No, no, no! A pause can mean all kinds of things, and sticking a comma in every pause will lead to trouble. Instead, it’s better to learn the four main uses for commas:
The pages above tackle them one at a time, and by the end you won’t have to guess about commas any more.
In addition, you can print your own Comma Chart as a reference to help keep them straight:
comma-chart (PDF format)