8 junio, 2024

Types of coma and their characteristics (with examples)

The comma is a punctuation mark that is basically used to make short pauses in a text. This type of pause is usually shorter than the period pause, and should not be confused with the semicolon (;). The comma (,) is considered the sign that is most used when writing any content.

To make a comma there is a fixed rule, it must be attached to the previous word or sign. And after it there must be a space to separate the phrase or sign that follows. This should always be done this way, no matter what type of comma is being used.

Whoever writes can use the comma according to their tastes and what they want to express. But there are types of commas that must be used in order for these texts to be read correctly. Next, we will explain the kinds of commas that we can find.

comma types

enumerative comma

This type of comma is used to separate a set of elements that express similar characteristics or simply want to enumerate. Generally, when naming these words, conjunctions are used (and, or, u, nor), before them a comma should not be placed.


– Today I went to the supermarket I was able to buy fruits, meat, rice and eggs. (Correct).

– Today I went to the supermarket I was able to buy fruits, meat, rice, and eggs. (Incorrect).

– Use my telescope you can see the moon, the stars and many stars. (Correct).

– Use my telescope you can see the moon, the stars, and many stars. (Incorrect).

– At home I have a chair, a table, my TV, a cat and a dog.

– Tomorrow I will go to the supermarket, to the cinema, to the cafeteria and then I will return home.

– My mother is kind, consenting, educated and an example to follow.

– We go to the beach to sunbathe, tan, eat fish and swim a little.

– The night is cold, dark, nostalgic and alone.

– Her name was strange, short, scrambled and unusual.

– I will write a tenth, a sonnet, a quatrain and a silva.

vocative comma

This type of comma is used to mark a difference between the vocative and the rest of the sentence. The vocative is the way of addressing a person or more by their name or something that distinguishes them.


– Luis, wait here.

– Students, write everything that is on the board.

– It’s time to sleep, Pedro, stop playing.

– José, that happened to you for not paying attention.

– You, the woman I love.

– Maria, so long, so many days waiting.

– Love, wait for me, please.

– Woman, we will arrive on time, calm down.

– People, please stay calm.

– She, the one I waited so long for.

elliptical comma

This comma is used to avoid redundancy in sentences. It can be used to replace a verb or noun that was mentioned.


Manuel went to Germany and Antonio, to Mexico.

– Maria lost her wallet; Alicia, her notebook. (The comma after «Alice» replaces «lost»).

– Venice is a very beautiful city; Barcelona and Valencia, too. (The comma after “Barcelona and Valencia” replaces “they are”).

– José wanted ribs; Peter, chicken. (The comma after “Pedro” replaces “wanted”).

– I play chess; Jose, soccer. (The comma after “José” replaces “juega”).

– I like to run during the day; to Pedro, running at night. (The comma after «Peter» replaces «likes»).

– Yesterday it was very hot; Today very cold.

explanatory or incidental comma

In this case the comma is used to add additional data of the subject or the verb. This information does not alter the sentence and must have a comma at the beginning and end. Since the idea is not essential, it can even be removed without any problem.


– Luisa, in addition to being an excellent friend, is a very good teacher. (You can write: Luisa is a very good teacher).

– We all went to school this morning, even though it was raining. (It can be written: We all went to school this morning).

– The dogs, despite not having eaten well, ran the entire stretch. (You can write: The dogs ran the entire stretch).

– The children, although they were upset, fulfilled their duties. (You can write: The children did their homework).

– If you leave early today, you should know, you won’t get your bonus.

appositive comma

The appositive comma is used when the subject is known by another name that describes it. This alias must be enclosed in commas.


– James Bond, agent 007, wears a smart black suit.

– Julia, the secretary, is very punctual in her work.

– Pedro Pérez, the soccer player, did not appear at the meeting today.

– Juan, the poet, writes a lot.

– Manuel, the teacher, arrived late.

hyperbatic coma

For this type of comma, the usual order that a sentence should have is altered, in terms of the subject, the verb and the action. The comma is placed after the fact.


– As previously discussed, Manuel no longer belongs to our group.

– Despite the rain, the ship was able to set sail.

conjunctiva coma

This comma is used when a pause is made in the sentence with some adverbial phrase or conjunctions. Some of the words that we can commonly find are: that is, for example, that is, first of all, to name one of them.


– Today I am very happy, however, yesterday was a difficult day.

– I already ate too much, I mean, I don’t want dessert.

– We are going to play, first of all, chess.

– The tenths, to name some poetic form, are excellent for educating.

– Yesterday I studied a lot, however, I failed the exam.

Other uses of the comma

Decimal separator

In mathematics, the comma is used to separate whole numbers from decimals. There are some countries that use the point instead of the comma for this case, both are accepted by the RAE.


– 100,235, 67

– 8,908,200, 35

In programming languages

The comma is also used in computing. There are several programming languages ​​that use the comma for various functions. This is used both to separate values ​​or as an operator that assigns values ​​from one variable to another.


– C language

– power (a,b) (function).

– int a, b, sum; (declaration of variables).


(2010). Spain: Royal Spanish Academy. Recovered from: rae.es. Comma (,). (S.f.). (N/A). Info signs. Recovered from: infosignos.com. Comma types. (S.f.). (N/A). Educational materials. Retrieved from: educationalmaterials.org. Comma types (,). (2013). (N/A): From Peru. Retrieved from: com. The 7 types of commas and the use of the semicolon. (2019). (N/A): Communication San José de Zipaquirá. Recovered from: cronicaparaprensa.wordpress.com.

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