Far be it from me to lecture native English speakers about English grammar rules. I used to love grammar and syntax at school. Yes, I was that type of nerd at school, but let’s not go into too much detail about it, shall we?


However, after more than two and a half decades since I was at elementary school, when we did grammar and syntax, and after stuffing my brain with the rules of another language, more or less at the same time with my native language, some rules have “migrated” from one language to the other. So I often remember a rule for this and that while I write, only to realise, oh say a year later, that said rule was not meant for English but for Greek or the other way around.


And yes, I’m one of those people who may have a sudden burst of epiphany to years-old questions in the most absurd places, like cinemas or the bathroom, and I make sure everyone around me knows I found the answer to something.


Which means I have to go back and change things around in my manuscripts. Those of you who beta read for me in the past must have noticed it. (Btw, thank you again, you awesome people you! – wink wink, nudge nudge, next novel will be ready at some point)

fluttering eyebrows

One thing I noticed a lot of people struggle with, not only in Greek but in English as well, also not only in self-published books but traditionally published too, is the comma. So, if you’re one of those people like me, have a look at this image with a few rules about comma, and see if it helps you.


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8 thoughts on “Comma rules? Comma rules!

    1. I do to, and in my case more than one. The thing is I never feel they are enough, so I also want to be aware of the most basic rules as I write. On top of that, one has to consider personal style in writing. Though I’m still a new writer, I can already identify some “quirks” that are in a way part of my style. An automated program may indicate a sentence as a mistake (and they often do), when in fact it’s meant to be that way for a reason (rhythm and cadence within a sentence comes to mind). I’m not saying they are wrong; I’m just saying I think it’s better to know the rules so I can bend or break them as I deem necessary for a story.

      1. Ah, I understand. Grammarly is good for basic writing issues, but yeah, it will point out sentences that it deems aren’t written well. As a writer myself, I’m becoming more aware of what style I have.

  1. I appreciate this. My editor told me that, all things being equal, the trend is towards less commas rather than more. So, she deletes the comma before too, as in “this confuses me, too.” I am having a hard time dropping that comma.

    1. It’s a very fine balance between what we as authors consider our personal style and are unwilling to change, and what an editor considers best. I haven’t had to face such problems yet, and I’m glad because I can go to the extreme where I stare at such a sentence for hours, unable to make up my mind. You can imagine how much more I struggle when I have to find the right verb or any other word for that sentence to shine. It could take me a whole day for something as small as that.

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