H9: No Comma with Essential Elements

H9: No Comma with Essential Elements: Do not use commas to set off essential elements of the sentence, such as clauses beginning with that (relative clauses) or other essential phrases or words. That clauses after nouns are always essential. “That” clauses following a verb expressing mental action are always essential.  See Writing for Success Section 3.1 pp. 104-105 or scroll up at https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/relative-clauses/#search


Essential relative clause: 

There are a few things that I need to tell you about.

(No comma between “things” and “that.”)


Essential relative clause:

People who are like you can be found when you explore your interests more adventurously.

(No comma between “People” and “who” or “found” and “when.”)


Essential phrase:

Ten people in the classroom were annoyed by the car alarm.

(No commas between “people” and “in” or “annoyed” and “car.”


Essential words:

Melville’s book Typee was the one that brought him popular fame as a writer.

(No commas before or after “Typee” here.)


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