Activities to Teach Students to Use Commas With Compound, Complex, and Compound-Complex Sentences

As a student, learning how to use commas in sentences correctly can be a challenging process. However, mastering the use of commas is a fundamental skill that will help you enhance your writing and communication skills. One of the most common issues students face is when to use commas in compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences. This is why teachers need to develop fun activities that can teach students the proper usage of commas in their writing. In this article, we will discuss a few activities that can help students learn how to use commas in compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

Activity 1: Commas in Compound Sentences

A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses, which are separated by a comma and conjunction or semicolon. The activity entails giving students several compound sentences without commas and asking them to insert commas in the right places. To make this more fun, consider turning this into a game. Divide the class into teams, and give each team a few sentences without commas. The team that adds the correct commas first wins.

Activity 2: Commas in Complex Sentences

A complex sentence consists of an independent clause joined by a subordinate clause. In this exercise, students should be given several complex sentences without commas, and they should be asked to insert commas in their right places. To make this more fun, consider encouraging students to write their own complex sentences and make a sentence bingo out of it. Each student should write their sentence on separate pieces of paper, and they can stick them up on the board. The first student to complete a bingo with five correctly punctuated sentences wins.

Activity 3: Commas in Compound-Complex Sentences

A compound-complex sentence contains two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clauses. This type of sentence can be challenging to punctuate correctly. In this activity, provide students with a set of compound-complex sentences without commas and ask them to work in pairs to fix the sentences. To make this more fun, students can write their sentences on cards and shuffle them up. They can take turns reading out a sentence, and the other student has to punctuate it correctly.


Learning how to use commas correctly can be a challenging process, but incorporating fun and engaging activities can help students master this skill. You can use these activities for different age groups and use different variations to make it more interactive. Teachers should also provide ample practice time and feedback to ensure that students retain the skill. With consistent practice and use of commas, students can develop communication skills that will help them thrive not only in their academic careers but also in their future professions.  

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