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When was the last time you were confused about where to place commas in a sentence? It probably wasn’t that long ago. That’s because commas are tricky things. They can play so many different roles in sentences that it’s hard to keep all of them straight. To save you from the torture of comma confusion, we’re featuring an awesome 5-minute TED-Ed video on where to place commas in a sentence.

In true TED fashion, the creators of this video use superheroes to turn a typically dry and complex topic in something that’s fun and easy to understand. (Would you expect anything less from the TED brand?) We guarantee that you’ll have a better idea of where to place commas in a sentence after watching it.

What this video covers

This video is a short one, so it doesn’t cover everything you could ever know about commas. And you know what? It’s probably for the best. A video that covered everything would probably be pretty overwhelming. The last thing you want to do is spend time watching something and either not learn anything or just get more confused. Instead, you want to kick your comma confusion to the curb.

So what does this video focus on? Using a clever weight balance analogy, it breaks down how to use commas when you’re working with coordinate conjunctions (word like “and,” “but,” and “so”) and subordinate conjunctions (words like “even though,” “because,” and “although”). In other words, it helps you figure out where to place commas in a sentence like these:

  • Because I stayed up late I’m tired.
  • Jake created the graphics and Malika wrote the script.
  • Tomas specializes in web design whereas Anika focuses on web development.
  • I forgot my business cards in the car so I’ll have to go back to grab them.
  • Although we were only 15 minutes late we lost our reservation.
  • I like chocolate chunk cupcakes and lemon cupcakes. (Are we making you hungry yet?)

Ready to watch the video? You can check it out here:

What did you think?

Did you just finish watching the video? Which superhero character was your favourite: the resourceful and chic comma, the mighty subordinates, or the tiny but strong coordinates? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Want a more comprehensive rundown about how to use commas in a sentence? Check out our post on the 6 key things you need to know about commas.

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Where to place commas in a sentence
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