逗號

在用逗號時,有幾種基本規則,但逗號的用法其實還有很多種語,像是用逗號來添加句子的意思或強調某件事情、要點或意義。

雖然老師常這麼教:逗號是用來方便我們在句中有「呼吸的空間」。但更精確的說法,是用來組織多個想法或邏輯。另外,先不論文法上的規則,多數人總會在句中加逗號來確保意思有表達清楚;而有時如果句子沒逗號也不會影響意思,就乾脆不加逗號。

在列舉的片語、字詞或子句之間做分隔

在列舉事物時,一般會用逗號來分隔各項事物。但列舉到最後兩項事物時,通常會在倒數第二項的字尾標上逗號,再接「and」或「or」來舉出最後一項。這種逗號在編輯的術語中,叫做「牛津逗號」。

一系列的獨立子句(多個句子)
舉例
  • I met Harry, we went for a swim together, and afterwards Harry went home.
  • I like your son, I might even love him, but he is not a very good soccer player.
一系列的名詞
舉例
  • For dinner I had soup, fish, chicken, dessert, and coffee.
  • This afternoon I went to Oxford Circus, Picadilly, Hamstead, and Gatwick Airport.
一系列的形容詞

列舉一系列的形容詞時,通常也會用上逗號。然而,如果形容詞是在修飾別的形容詞,則不必以逗號分隔(請見第三個例句)。

舉例
  • She was young, beautiful, kind, and intelligent.
  • The house we visited was dark, dreary, and run-down.
  • She was wearing a bright red shirt.
一系列的動詞
舉例
  • Tony ran towards me, fell, yelled, and fainted.
  • The boy leapt, spun, twisted, and dove into the water.
一系列的片語
舉例
  • The car smashed into the wall, flipped onto its roof, slid along the road, and finally stopped against a tree.
  • The dog leapt into the air, snatched the frisbee in its mouth, landed, and ran off into the forest.

添加額外的資訊

用逗號來添加非限定關係子句或非必要性的細節或評論,在嵌入的子句前一個字的字尾還有子句的句尾,都會加上逗號。

舉例
  • China, one of the most powerful nations on Earth, has a huge population.
  • Jason's grandmother, who was born in 1930, lived through the Second World War.
  • Cats, unlike dogs, do not respect their masters.
  • My friend, Jim, likes to go scuba diving.

分詞片語

舉例
  • Hearing that her father was in hospital, Jane left work immediately.
  • Walking to the bus stop that morning, Sam knew it was going to be a special day.

附加問句

舉例
  • She lives in Paris, doesn't she?
  • We haven't met, have we?

插入的詞語

舉例
  • Yes, I will stay a little longer, thank you.
  • No, he isn't like other boys.
  • Wait, I didn't mean to scare you.

最後的小提醒

如果把逗號加在錯誤的地方,可會導致整個句子的意思不同。觀察這兩個句子吧:
I detest liars like you; I believe that honesty is the best policy. = 我憎恨像你一樣的騙子。
I detest liars, like you; I believe that honesty is the best policy. = 你跟你一樣都憎恨騙子。