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From the moment I saw him I knew this wouldn't work out.

OR

From the moment I saw him, I knew this wouldn't work out.

It just doesn't seem to flow as well in the second version. Which one should I use?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is not a clause, but an adverbial phrase. According to most style guides, the comma is optional after an introductory adverbial phrase, but it is more often included than not.

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Adverbial phrase! Let me change the question. Thanks so much. –  eveline Jul 16 at 23:30
    
I see. I'd definitely forgotten what it was actually called (and what it actually was). Thanks! –  eveline Jul 16 at 23:38
    
@eveline: Thanks for accepting my answer! And welcome to the site. P.S. You could also vote my answer up, if you think it is right...it's the round grey arrow above the number "0". –  Cerberus Jul 17 at 0:09
    
My personal rule is that an introductory phrase of more than three words gets a comma; fewer than three words, no comma; exactly three words, judgement call. The example sentence justifies the rule: the comma makes it much easier to parse. –  Malvolio Jul 17 at 0:13
1  
@Cerberus I HAVE LIKE 13 REPUTATION POINTS AND THE THING WON'T LET ME CLICK. I've been trying to vote it up since the moment you answered. Hahah. –  eveline Jul 17 at 2:27

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