Comma Basics

A Course on the Two Ways We Use Commas

How many comma rules are there? 473? 692? 356? Who knows? But what we do know is that every single rule for commas can be put into one of two categories: commas that separate or commas that set off. Understanding commas begins here. Whether you are looking at one of those seventeen-line sentences or a sentence that fits on one line, first determine whether you need a comma to separate two language elements – i.e., push them apart – or whether a pair of commas is needed to surround the language element.

Your Instructor

Margie Wakeman Wells
Margie Wakeman Wells

Margie Wakeman Wells is a lifetime credentialed teacher in the state of California and is certified as a CRI. She is in her sixth decade of teaching -- with 40 of those years in the field of court reporting. As a reporting instructor, she has taught from the theory level through the exit speeds as well as all manner of English courses – both on campus in a bricks and mortar school and online.

She has presented, under the auspices of NCRA and state court reporting organizations, over 300 seminars for reporters on English-related topics as well as seminars for teachers and students.

Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation, her best-selling reference text, and the workbook that accompanies it are available at In addition, she has published Word Pares, Pears, Pairs, a reference work of 2,000 word pairs with definitions, examples, and idioms for the words, and is currently writing a grammar text. She has also written a drill book series for improving accuracy: Practice Really DOES Make Perfect.

Margie operates “Margie Holds Class,” her online school, for both live and recorded classes and writes her blog, “All Things English,” at Margie currently serves as the Education Liaison for the California Court Reporters Association.

Margie has two grown sons and lives with her husband, Bill, in Culver City, California.

Course Curriculum

Available in days
days after you enroll
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have technical questions/issues?
You can contact support via the green "Support" button on the lower right corner of the screen.
How long do I have access to the course?
Once you register for the course, the course -- the recordings, the resource materials, and the practice exercises -- will be available to you for 45 days. Do not sign up until you have the time to spend on the material.
What if I have a personal emergency during the 45-day period and cannot spend time on the material?
Please contact me at [email protected] These issues will be handled on an individual basis.

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