For instance, consider the sentence, "I ate lunch today." Is it necessary or acceptable to put a comma before "today?"
Generally speaking, some of these time phrases look wrong to me when used with a comma, while others do not. I think the central question and the source of my confusion is, "When is the time not critical to the meaning of the idependent clause?" Is there a better rule of thumb?
- "I ate lunch, today."
- "I ate lunch, while the others were out."
- "I ate lunch, at the same time the others did."