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Common Mistakes in English (Made By Romanians, Of Course)

PUNCTUATION!.;,

Our Romanian commas are crazy. Commas everywhere! English commas have certain rules, though, like:

DETAILS

Russia, one of the largest countries on Earth, has a complicated history.

Silvia, the girl I befriended, is a citizen of Puerto Rico.

These two examples should always include commas between the parts in bold.

THE OXFORD COMMA

The final comma in a list of things:

I bought sausages, quesadilla, apples, and vinegar.

They ran, shouted, waved their arms, and fell to the ground.

AMBIGUITY

Make sure the comma is in the right place, or else the meaning might change:

  • I dislike salesmen, like you: I think they’re all thieves.
  • I dislike salesmen like you: I think they’re all thieves.

Number 1) means we both dislike salesmen, whereas the second sentence means I dislike you for being a salesman. So watch it!

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