Trust me when I tell you that COMMAS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH...AND ALSO PREVENT EMBARASSMENT! You don't really want to eat your beloved grandma, do you? That's why we need COMMA RULE #6: COMMAS WITH DIRECT ADDRESSES.
What is a DIRECT ADDRESS? A name or anything at all that one person uses to address another person, anything from nice and polite to informal and snarky.
This comma rule comes into play when you're writing dialogue. If you start an address or greeting with a person's name, follow it with a comma. If the greeting or comment comes first, precede the name with a comma. After looking at these examples, I hope all will become crystal clear.
"What's up, Sally?"
"Hey, don't walk away from me!"
"Derek, is it your turn to bring in snacks?"
"Hi there, Adam."
"Sir, may I have your assistance?"
"The answer is still no, Sam."
"Good morning, class."
"Let's go outside, Tiger."
"Yes, Mary, you're definitely invited to my party."
"Sweetie, dinner is ready."
Don't confuse DIRECT ADDRESSES with SALUTATIONS in letters, which start with DEAR, like Dear Grandma or Dear Editor.
That's it for today's spoonful. I hope you found it delightfully short and easy to understand.
Laura Fineberg Cooper