Ok, I told you yesterday that there was one more use of commas I’d save till today. Have a look at the sentences below, and tell me which of the two people quoted has only one brother:
My brother who works in the bank visited today.
My brother, who works in the bank, visited today.
If you said the second person only has one brother, you’re correct! But how did you know?
This is something lots of people wonder. This is something I wonder sometimes, because commas can be quite complicated, and the rules about using them very specific. So if you’re not too concerned about how to use them, let me just say this:
If you use them in writing where you’d pause when speaking, you’ll probably be fine. In a very basic way, they provide a pause for a reader, just as we give ourselves regular pauses when we speak.
But if you want to know a little more, read on…