Commas in Letters

Learn when to use commas in letters

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Learning when to use commas can be quite confusing for children, as there are so many different uses for commas. This article will focus specifically on using commas in letters. There are a number of standard practices for commas in letters to adhere to. Let’s take a look at when and how to use commas in letters!

When do you use commas in letters?

Commas in letters are used in the opening and the closing of a letter. Additionally, if you are sending a letter in the mail, the address you are sending it to also uses commas.

Example of commas in letter openings and closings

This example should help your child writer understand how to punctuate their letters.

Dear Grudge,

I hope you are well and comfortable in your cave.

No one in the Night Zoo has heard from you for a long time. Is everything okay?

How is the weather on the Mountain in the Sky?

Yours sincerely,

Ant

Notice how in this letter, the opening statement is followed by a comma before the actual content of the letter begins. Additionally, the closing statement is followed by a comma before Ant signs his name. These are two important instances in which commas are necessary for letters!

Example of commas in letter addresses

If you are sending a letter in the mail, you will need to correctly format the address on the envelope, and sometimes even at the top of the letter itself. Similarly, you may include an address as part of the main message of the letter. Each of these cases has its own rules on how to correctly format and punctuate an address.

Here is an example of a correctly formatted address that would go on the front of an envelope. Each part of the address is separated by a new line, and typically the address is centred on the envelope:

Eek (name)

2 Igloo Street (street number and name)

Igloo City (city name)

The Night Zoo (country or state name)

The same formatting would be used when putting your reply-to address in the top right of a letter, but it would simply be right-aligned instead. Similarly, in some formal letters, the recipient's address is on the left of a letter; below the reply-to address, but left-aligned, and before the opening greeting.

When you want to write an address in a sentence (within a letter, or any other piece of writing), you need to separate each component by a comma instead. Here is an example:

Eek lives at 2 Igloo Street, Igloo City, The Night Zoo.

Activity & Resource

Now that your child is familiar with how to use commas in letters, they are ready to give it a go themselves! Download the resource below to test their new knowledge.

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