Coma vs Comma? What’s the Difference?

If you are constantly confused by words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, you are definitely not alone. Coma and comma are mixed up all the time because there is only one letter different in their spellings.

“Comma” relates to grammar while “coma” has absolutely nothing to do with grammar. A coma is a medical condition, and a comma is a type of grammatical punctuation.


The word coma is a noun. It is used to describe an unconscious state that lasts for a prolonged period of time. Some writers will also use the word coma to describe sleep that takes place over an extended period of time.

Coma can also be used to describe a part of a comet. More specifically, it is used to describe the cloud of gas and debris that surrounds the nucleus. This is a much less common use of the word outside of the astronomical context.

My uncle is in a coma and is currently attached to life support machines.

After the car accident, she slipped into a coma.

When one wakes up from a coma, it usually happens slowly.

It is said that when a loved one is in a coma, they can hear you when you speak to them.


A comma, also a noun, is a type of punctuation mark that is used to separate clauses, represent short pauses in the text, and make a list of three or more items. The comma is extremely important for proper sentence structure, but they can become distracting and confusing if too many are used.

The dash, semicolon, colon, and comma are all used to separate ideas or phrases in a sentence.

You should try to use just one comma in a sentence that doesn’t contain a list.

During the proofread of the new novel, I found a comma or two that were unnecessary.

The teacher tried to get her students to use the comma less and the period more.

How to Remember the Difference

There is one easy way to remember the difference between comma and coma and it has to do with how they are spelled.

Look at the word comma. It has mm in the middle, just like the word grammar. You can also think of the second M in comma as standing for the word mark as in punctuation mark.