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

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4answers
12k 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
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1answer
232 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
14k 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
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1answer
168 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
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2answers
2k 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
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1answer
257 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
691 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
151 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
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1answer
371 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
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1answer
767 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
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0answers
36 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
5k 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
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3answers
392 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
560 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
6answers
4k 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
771 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
1k 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
2k 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
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4answers
67k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
51k 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
614 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
91 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
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2answers
833 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
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2answers
10k 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
8k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
22k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good” vs. “greed is, for lack of a better word, good”

Which of the two usages is correct? Do both of them imply the same meaning? Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is, for lack of a better word, good. I perceive a subtle ...
0
votes
2answers
555 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
931 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
517 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
11k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
123k 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
896 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
730 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
5k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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
778 views

Usage of a comma for emphasis

It is grammatically acceptable to say the following? Don't forget, they could be tricking us.
2
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1answer
340 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), ...
7
votes
5answers
56k 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
2k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
32k 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
9k 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"?
0
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
4answers
906 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
186 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
7k 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
votes
2answers
272 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 ...
1
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0answers
206 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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6answers
22k 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 ...