The comma is a punctuation character that is placed on the baseline and looks similar to a single quotation mark.

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7
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3answers
780 views

Is a comma necessary in “What’s funny, is …”?

In the sentence What’s funny is Cat’s dry humour. Wouldn’t it be better to put a comma after “funny”: What’s funny, is Cat’s dry humour. This question entails a (at the time of writing) ...
3
votes
5answers
12k views

Semicolons at the end of list items

In school, we were taught to end each list item with a semicolon. But I have never actually seen this. Can somebody please confirm this? Should we end each list item with anything at all? I've seen ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Should the beginner's program read "Hello, World? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter? I was thinking today about comma usage and the typical first output for a beginning programmer. In the ...
1
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2answers
260 views

Comma in “more than $6 billion to settle a long-running lawsuit, in a pact that also permits”

Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and some large banks agreed to pay scores of retailers—from giant Publix Supermarkets Inc. to an interior-design store in Minnesota—more than $6 billion to settle a ...
4
votes
2answers
163 views

Including a comma to exclude all other people

I am Investigator Ace Sleuth, from the Fuji Apple Sheriff's Department. I am Investigator Ace Sleuth from the Fuji Apple Sheriff's Department. The comma in the first sentence implies that ...
3
votes
8answers
895 views

Commas around “and”

I'm at a loss as to how I should title this. I have this sentence: We have the option to provide notifications via telephone, and, possibly, email. I am trying to express several things: ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Punctuation of direct speech, edge cases

I recently learned that I have developed a consistent, but entirely wrong approach to punctuating direct speech in fiction. I am in the unenviable position of trying to relearn. Previously I wrote ...
5
votes
1answer
660 views

What is the name for punctuation marks such as commas and periods that separate things like clauses or sentences?

When I'm editing people's writing, I recently started writing the comment "put an article here" rather than "put a 'the' or 'a' here". Similarly, right now I have to put, "you need a comma or period ...
-1
votes
2answers
315 views

Can I omit a colon and use a comma instead in this sentence to dramatize?

original sentence -> The purpose is to disclose some information new sentence -> the purpose: to disclose some information last version(I'm asking about) -> The purpose, to disclose information
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Usage of “and” and comma when writing numbers UK style

I am trying to understand the rules for writing numbers in words under the UK rules (with "and"). I understand how to write small numbers (up to a few thousands), but I am not sure when to use "and" ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Parenthetical commas and foreign English

I advise a friend on her writing, despite not quite knowing an adverb from a proverb (kidding (kinda)). Invariably, parenthetical commas such as the following: Jane, my assistant, opened the ...
6
votes
4answers
10k views

Either and vs. Either or

(1) In this question on math.SE a question about the meaning of 'either' before a list which ends with 'and'. The meaning of either a, b, c, or d is from this answer sort of clear in that it means ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

When writing user stories, should there be a comma after “As a User”, and before “I want”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma after introductory phrases Agile software development often encourages people to write up user stories using a given formula. The formula is: "As a User I want to ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“Don't worry, …”

"Don't worry, it won't hurt much." Is the comma the correct punctuation mark to use after "Don't worry"? This seems to be the norm, but I feel like there almost two sentences there and that ...
1
vote
1answer
219 views

Adjective clause with 'so'

I can't find any grammar reference to the correct usage of a specifying adjective clause. Consider an example: The physical activity, so vital for the developing body, is often overlooked by the ...
1
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2answers
414 views

How do I punctuate the phrase “final final exam”?

What is the correct punctuation for a final "final exam" that has been taken? Should the sentence read: 'That my was my final, final exam!' or 'That was my final final exam!'
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Use of commas in a subordinate clause

I was about to correct a line like "Townville located in east Blaze County has grown rapidly since 2000 and continues to do so." to "Townville, located in east Blaze County, has grown rapidly since ...
-1
votes
1answer
325 views

Commas and “but”

I was always taught that one of the primary uses of a comma is for when you're divvying up unnecessary parts of sentences (I'll just go ahead and assume that was right). So, when I'm constructing ...
1
vote
1answer
517 views

Should a comma be here or not?

In that eternal moment it sounded like thunder, reminding him that today time isn't on his side. versus In that eternal moment it sounded like thunder, reminding him that today, time isn't on ...
-1
votes
0answers
35 views

proper way to use a comma separating 3 (or more) words in a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I put a comma before the last item in a list? Proper English writing is not my strong point so I thought I'd post a question here. Using the following as an ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Is “not only… but as well…” grammatical?

I was given a text to read by my teacher which contains the following sentence: Speaking a foreign language one can not only read the papers, magazines and original books by outstanding writers, ...
1
vote
3answers
352 views

Is comma needed before “and” in two connecting clauses?

I have the fallowing sentence (I've changed the content to keep it fairly understandable, the relations between the parts are the same). However, it states in the literature that green people love ...
1
vote
2answers
378 views

What is the proper way to punctuate “but no”?

I'm trying to figure out the proper usage and punctuation of "but no". I think it's one of the following: You figure I would have made at least one post about Arthur C. Clarke’s “2010” during ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How to punctuate lists that are nested to three levels?

A basic list is punctuated like this: The park has some bears, deers, and other animals. (bears) (deers) (other animals) When commas appear inside the items of a list, or when lists appear ...
5
votes
4answers
670 views

Why are commas needed in the following sentences?

I have difficulty understanding comma usages in the following sentences: Mr Hirai had already announced that Sony's TV production goal would be halved, from 40m units to 20m. (The Economist) ...
0
votes
3answers
736 views

What punctuation to use for “X or equivalently Y” and where does it go?

Suppose I have a phrase that expresses two statements as being equivalent. The details aren't important (they happen to be mathematical statements, and for the purpose of illustration, let's use "A is ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Comma in “Don't you wish your girlfriend was grammatically correct like me?”

I saw this: "Don't you wish your girlfriend was grammatically correct like me?" I'm wondering should it be: "Don't you wish your girlfriend was grammatically correct​, like me?"
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Punctuation after valediction [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should you use a comma/period after “Thanks”/“Regards” in email signatures? When writing a letter, do we put a comma or a period after the ...
5
votes
4answers
37k views

Is it correct to use this expression in an email: “Attached you may find …”?

Is it grammatical to use the expression "Attached you may find ..." in an email? For example: Dear Sir or Madam, Attached you may find the documents you requested. ... If this is ...
2
votes
4answers
32k views

Using a comma before “rather than”

I find that it is very common for some people (typically English teachers, in my experience) to use a comma before a phrase beginning with "rather than" when it falls at the end of a sentence. For ...
2
votes
2answers
416 views

checking parts of speech pattern of this sentence

I wonder if the following sentence is grammatically correct. Foobar is a novel, set in a scenic landscape of farmland and ancient woodland on the banks of the River Foo. I suppose the word "set" ...
1
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1answer
83 views

Punctuation within a question [closed]

How do you punctuate "Are you Mr. Jones?" Is that correct or should it be "Are you, Mr. Jones?"
5
votes
2answers
626 views

Differentiating comma/period use in mid-dialogue

Best shown by example: (From Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) "But I still felt bad," she went on. "So I dragged myself all the way to your house later--like an idiot. "Don't worry," I ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Comma after To at the beginning of a sentence

I am just writing my master thesis and I am unsure whether to place a comma in sentences starting with "To". Here are some examples: To be able to improve the performance[,] it is important to ...
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votes
1answer
6k views

Sentence with multiple 'and's: should I use an Oxford comma, and if so, where? [closed]

I have the following sentence: I am a self-starter possessing excellent problem solving ability and outstanding coordination and communication skills. Using the Oxford comma, what is the correct ...
2
votes
3answers
15k views

Comma before quote marks around article title?

I'm thinking about making a headline. I know you would use a comma here: Professor Bill Bick then told me, "There will be more jobs when the economy recovers." What about here? Read ...
0
votes
2answers
473 views

Where should I put the comma in this sentence? [closed]

The three main factors of bullying among teenagers are problematic family background, strong desire of power and popularity and influence from mass media. The number of ands in this sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
913 views

“—” vs. “;” vs. “,” vs. “()” — what's the difference? [closed]

All of these punctuation marks seem to have the same purpose. Is there any general guideline for picking one for each use case?
3
votes
3answers
439 views

Larry Trask seems to be violating rules about commas as mentioned in his own guide

I was reading Larry Trask's guide on how to use the comma. His node11.html mentions that we should not use a joining comma before any word other than and, or, but, while and yet. But in node13.html, ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Starting a sentence with 'About your question, …'

I have noticed myself often starting a sentence like this: About your drawing question, I don't think there is an easy way to draw these shapes. Is it formal to start a sentence that way (formal ...
10
votes
3answers
49k views

Should “So”, “Therefore”, “Hence”, and “Thus” be followed by commas?

Often, I have come across sentences that begin with "So". Should such an usage of "So" be followed by a comma? Are the following examples correct. He is very good at computers. So, I think he can ...
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votes
2answers
650 views

Comma confusion [closed]

I'm pretty sure this is a duplicate, but it's a generic case and searching brings up thousands of examples, so I'm forced to post. The question is, which of the sentences below is punctuated ...
7
votes
3answers
713 views

Is a comma needed after “a, b and c”?

Does a sentence like this need a comma where the question mark stands? Sunshine is an app for smartphones, tablets and computers [?] that lets you track and post weather news to blogs, social ...
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votes
4answers
3k views

Probably excessive commas - a part of sentence looks like a list of items

Sometimes, when I am trying to put into a sentence all the commas that should be there, according to the rules, it begins to look like a list of items - a comma after every word. (Edit: and as David ...
3
votes
4answers
759 views

Comma use: “from the ground up” or “from the ground, up”?

Is it appropriate to use a comma in the expression: ..."from the ground, up" or should there be no comma? Without a comma, the expression seems strange to me. I've been criticized by a non-native ...
4
votes
2answers
521 views

Usage of a comma for emphasis

It is grammatically acceptable to say the following? Don't forget, they could be tricking us.
2
votes
1answer
280 views

Parentheses vs. commas vs. hyphen or dash in a list of people

In a list of people published in a bulletin, which is correct? We continue in prayer for: Amy B.(cancer), T. Jones(nephew of Tim), Lillie (on the death of her brother), Sally(Nursing Home), ...
5
votes
5answers
37k views

Comma before “as well as”

Here is the sample sentence: We have carried out works for private individuals and property developers as well as our own building projects." Should there be a comma before as well as in this ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Starting a sentence with “Starting with”

When you want to summarize a list of items, can you use "Starting with" at the beginning of a sentence in order to explain the first item? For example, is the following grammatically correct? I ...
16
votes
4answers
17k views

Is it appropriate to put a comma before “which”?

On Server Fault, we were discussing this question in chat. There are non-native speakers in the chat and somehow we got on the topic of grammar and proper use of commas. The sentence of interest: ...