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

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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" ...
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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?"
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1answer
608 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 ...
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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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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
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3answers
14k 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 ...
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2answers
468 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
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1answer
912 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?
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3answers
419 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, ...
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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 ...
8
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3answers
44k 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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2answers
620 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 ...
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3answers
712 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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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
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4answers
707 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
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2answers
501 views

Usage of a comma for emphasis

It is grammatically acceptable to say the following? Don't forget, they could be tricking us.
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1answer
274 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), ...
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5answers
34k 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
16k 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: ...
8
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3answers
5k views

Use of comma separating two adjectives

If I had the phrase two blond haired, blue eyed people would the comma be out of place? should I hyphenate "blond haired" and "blue eyed"?
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2answers
964 views

Repeating “to” in a list of verbs connected by “and”

"This group’s main duties are to carry out information systems audits in Colombian banks and to make research and develop new regulations on information technologies and systems in the banking ...
2
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4answers
655 views

Are commas properly used in “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”?

George Bernard Shaw said, "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." Are commas properly used in these sentences? In my mind, the comma in each sentence improperly separates the noun ("he") from the ...
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3answers
175 views

Which one is the correct phrase, and why?

I am confused about the following two phrases: Generalising them is very easy. If you talk to some of them chosen at random, other largely share their views. Generalising them is very easy. If you ...
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3answers
2k views

Comma after introductory phrases

I am no native speaker and always confused about the comma in introductory phrases, in particular in prepositional phrases. Is there any hard rule when a comma must be set? If I make a google search ...
2
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2answers
227 views

Does the comma here draw special attention to an additional fact?

In the latest issue of The Economist there is the following sentence:- "And in China, unlike India, you can shop at Walmart, most of the time." Firstly, shouldn't it be "...unlike in India? Else it ...
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0answers
191 views

Should I use the so-called Oxford comma, or not? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I put a comma before the last item in a list? Until relatively recent times, I always concluded a series in this manner, eg.: "while walking through the park ...
2
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5answers
15k views

When does a comma change the meaning of a sentence?

Match the two sentences with their meaning: 1) I had a discussion with a friend and a programmer. 2) I had a discussion with a friend, and a programmer. Meanings: a) I talked to a ...
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3answers
1k views

Whether an omitted “that” should be replaced with a comma in certain situations

Consider a sentence like this: "I'm just letting you know that the meeting is at 6 tonight." It would be pretty common to omit "that" in this sentence: "I'm just letting you know the meeting is at ...
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5answers
48k views

Placement of comma before quotation mark

What is the rule for comma placement before a quotation mark? When should the comma go before and when should it go after the quotation mark?
3
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3answers
239 views

Is “ .. the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won.” correctly punctuated?

The quote in the title of this post is an extract from the official report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, authored among others by Kofi Annan. To me the comma is clearly misplaced. But is ...
5
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3answers
618 views

Using the comma as a list of things vs two related thoughts

Recently I sent a mail wishing a friend well. I ended it with the following sentence. Please take care, and call me if you need anything. The comma was included because the two were separate ...
2
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2answers
270 views

Is this a correct use for semicolons?

Is this sentence punctuated correctly? Not only am I a wife, but a mother; not only a daughter, but a sister; not only a coworker, but a friend.
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2answers
6k views

Comma placement when using quotes that end with a question mark [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? I've been writing a letter to an editor, and one line of my response reads: In your article "What Makes Free Will Free?" you ...
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3answers
455 views

Should there be a comma in “Tell <name> <other name> says hi.”?

I just wrote to someone, Tell Alivia Wyatt says hi. Am I missing a comma? It seems like there almost has to be one between the names. I find it a strange sentence to punctuate.
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4answers
6k views

'Plus, …' or 'Plus …'

I've a sentence structured as below for a leaflet: Fill in the survey and you can win x! Plus, a chance to be entered into a draw to win y! I typed this sentence and I just naturally added a ...
3
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2answers
184 views

What is the preferred way to write this type of sentence?

Sally (the mayors daughter) donated to the Salvation Army yesterday. or Sally, the mayors daughter, donated to the Salvation Army yesterday.
3
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2answers
3k views

Can I use an ellipsis before a comma?

On a particular piece of dialogue and I wasn't sure if this was correct or just a matter of style. "[...] your shield, you don’t deserve..., nor how can I put into the line?” My question is the ...
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5answers
267 views

Meaning of “more original computer science”

If I write Knuth has written more original computer science than anybody else does it mean computer science that is more original or more computer science that is original? It seems like it ...
3
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3answers
23k views

Is a comma needed before or after “which” and “such as”?

Is a comma needed before the word "which" and "such as" in the following examples? Ethical clearance was essential which was obtained very early in the research process. There are several ...
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0answers
76 views

How to use commas in greetings [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter? I've noticed that most of Americans I interact with online have a tendency to begin their emails like ...
3
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3answers
168 views

Using an unrelated “too” before an infinitive

I came across the following in a children's textbook about Japanese: [Ninja] did not have magic powers but they did have [discipline, determination and daring] ... These attributes will help you ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Comma before “and”

I read this sentence on an educational website: Now times have changed and you are ready for situations involving forces in two dimensions. Shouldn't there be a comma before and, since the ...
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2answers
1k views

Using a comma — or other punctuation — at the start of a line

I was always told that, when writing on a page, you should always make sure never to start a new line with a comma. E.g. The man was tired , so he went to bed. Is this an actual rule, or ...
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4answers
4k views

If you're using a quote with a period but do not want to end the sentence, do you keep the period?

For example. If I want to quote a passage from a writing, that says The cake is not a lie. and my sentence is: The book by author states that "The cake is not a lie." however studies show ...
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1answer
13k views

Where should I put the commas in a sentence containing “as well as”?

What is the proper way to punctuate a sentence containing "as well as"? For example, in the sentence: I hope to provide students with a solid foundation in the field as well as challenge them ...
4
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1answer
767 views

Use of a comma within a descriptive phrase

In the sentence "Their work involves commercial solar heating systems," should there be a comma after the word "commercial"? These are solar heating systems for commercial use as opposed to private ...
1
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1answer
509 views

Comma after “intuitively” at the beginning of a sentence? [duplicate]

In the following sentence, do I have to put a comma after "intuitively?": Intuitively, it represents the concept of something.
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5answers
254 views

Should there be a comma or a colon here?

His latest album is Foo featuring his band, Bar. His latest album is Foo featuring his band: Bar. Which is the more appropriate way to punctuate the sentence?
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3answers
68k views

Do you need a comma before a subordinating conjunction (like if)?

Are both of the following sentences correct? a: You can call me, if you need me. OR b: You can call if you need me. Note that in a:, the comma is placed before the "if" and is not present in case ...