Today, we’re going to talk about commas. Now, commas have three main functions: to separate clauses, to join independent clauses, and to avoid confusion.

So, let’s take a look at the first use, to separate clauses. This is when you need to separate a dependent clause from an independent clause, as is the case with this sentence.

Michael went to the beach, after he got ice cream.”

Michael went to the beach” is the independent clause, and “after he got ice cream” is the dependent clause.

Now, to test whether a clause is a dependent clause, it is to just read that clause by itself.

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