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Commas, Part 5

Rule – Use a comma to separate the city from the state, and always put one after the state, also.
Example:
I lived in Denver, Colorado, for 20 years.

NOTE: The U.S. Postal Service’s two-letter capitalized abbreviations (e.g., CO for Colorado, IL for Illinois) are not recommended in formal writing. However, when writing an address on an envelope, you should follow U.S. Postal Service guidelines. These guidelines are covered in our blog “Writing Addresses.”

Rule – Use commas to set off expressions that interrupt sentence flow.
Example:
I am, as you have probably noticed, very nervous about this.

 

Pop Quiz

1A. The New England Patriots, have played their home football games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, since 1971.
1B. The New England Patriots have played their home football games in Foxborough, Massachusetts since 1971.
1C. The New England Patriots have played their home football games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, since 1971.

2A. Janet has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, her entire life.
2B. Janet has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana her entire life.
2C. Janet, has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, her entire life.

3A. I agreed, although I regretted the decision later, to loan our car to Miriam.
3B. I agreed although I regretted the decision later, to loan our car to Miriam.
3C. I agreed although I regretted the decision later to loan our car to Miriam.

 

Pop Quiz Answers

1C. The New England Patriots have played their home football games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, since 1971.

2A. Janet has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, her entire life.

3A. I agreed, although I regretted the decision later, to loan our car to Miriam.

Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2012, at 3:27 pm


3 Comments on Commas, Part 5

3 responses to “Commas, Part 5”

  1. Lisa Duff says:

    My mind is only partially relieved to see the city, state, comma rule still exists, because more and more I find the comma after the state omitted in publications where editors should know better. It’s troublesome.

  2. Joyce K. says:

    I’m confused as to why you state that a comma goes AFTER the state in your example sentence:
    Rule 7. Use a comma to separate a city from its state, and remember to put one after the state, also.
    Example: I’m from the Akron, Ohio, area.

    What is the reason for putting one after the state? Ohio is essential information and should not be within a set of commas.

    • In these sorts of situations where a state is used with the city name, the state is followed by a comma (unless it ends the sentence or is followed by a zip code). This is consistent with the recommendations of both the Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook.

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