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I don't know how outdated it is though.

Should there be a comma before though, as in the following?

I don't know how outdated it is, though.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Though is used as an adverb in this case, applied to the verb is, therefore no comma is strictly necessary.

Saying this, I can easily imagine a brief pauses between is and though when speaking the sentence, hence a vocative comma is acceptable.

In other words, take your pick. If I can avoid a comma (as in this case), I usually will. It's not wrong either way though.

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(Oh dear, I think I subconsciously made a joke in the last sentence.) – Noldorin Jan 17 '11 at 19:30
I agree with this, though I have to note that I'm seeing more and more places where authors/editors seem to be cutting down on commas and omitting them where they're not strictly required for meaning. I'm doing the same in my own writing and feel it reads a little cleaner (though I still THINK the commas into place when reading). – bikeboy389 Jan 17 '11 at 19:50
Yeah, that doesn't surprise me too much. Commas can sometimes make sentences look more complicated than they are. – Noldorin Jan 17 '11 at 20:05
'Though is used as an adverb in this case, applied to the verb is, therefore no comma is strictly necessary.' I think the comma is optional (and I prefer the pause it signals). I'd argue strongly against 'though modifies be', and I note the use of the alternative '[is] applied to the verb is' here. But this is so far from central adverbial behaviour that I'd label though here as a pragmatic marker / pragmatic particle showing mild contrast or reserved judgement. It's a discourse-detailing comment by the communicator, outside what the actual statement made in the matrix sentence is. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 6 '13 at 15:20

I'd use the comma, but modern style would probably omit it. There is a general tendency towards less punctuation. Look at Victorian novels, and then compare with modern prose - there is much less punctuation now. Or look at the King James Bible; that is rife with colons and semi-colons that would not appear nowadays, often not even 'demoted' to commas. Punctuation style has changed over time.

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Yup, but we do shorter sentences too. All Twitter's fault, of course :) – Benjol Jan 18 '11 at 12:01

I strongly prefer the second form, with the comma.

Say out loud, without a pause

I don't know how outdated it is-though

Nonsense-speak to me.

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I believe both are correct. In general, you would use the comma if you would pause at that point if you spoke it aloud.

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protected by RegDwigнt May 15 '12 at 8:59

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