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

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5answers
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Commas around non-parenthetical name like “The famous playwright, William Shakespeare, was born…”?

I commonly see commas used like: "The famous playwright, William Shakespeare, was born in Stratford-upon-Avon." It bothers me, but I'm curious to hear explanations of why this is done, and if it can ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

Placing a comma after a conditional statement

I've always had difficulties in figuring out where commas should be placed. For example, in a phrase containing a conditional statement, how should I write... If they don't arrive by noon, she'll ...
27
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9answers
102k views

Using a comma before “but”

I was once told by an English professor that a comma should never be used before but in a sentence. For years, I have followed her advice but sometimes I just feel like it just needs to be there. On ...
4
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5answers
240 views

Staying up at night

I'm trying to describe two people who stay up at night to get some work done. Are the following sentences all grammatically correct and equivalent? Without sleeping we go on to finish our work. ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Should “vice versa” be treated as an independent clause?

I know "vice versa" more or less means "conversely," but when it is used by itself, should it be punctuated as if it were an independent clause? Dogs don't like cats, and vice versa. or Dogs ...
26
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5answers
291k views

Should there always be a comma after “therefore”,“However” etc.?

Should you always type a comma after "therefore","however" etc. in the beginning of a sentence? Also, when these (and similar) words are used in the middle of a sentence, should there be a comma or ...
5
votes
2answers
738 views

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray: “I wonder will you understand me?”

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, I came across the following passage, spoken by Basil Hallward: There is nothing that art cannot express, and I know that the work I have done since I met Dorian Gray ...
7
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7answers
2k views

Correct comma use with “but” and “that”

Compare these 3 sentences: Both are based on librsync, but above that they behave quite differently. Both are based on librsync, but above that, they behave quite differently. Both are ...
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4answers
2k views

Comma in a sentence just before the start of a list

If I am asking a complex question, I would write it like this: Do you have, by chance, three pennies on you? Should I write a complex question that turns into a list without the comma? Do ...
1
vote
2answers
716 views

Usage of comma before quotes [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does a comma have to be used before a quotation? Please let me know which of the two examples below are correct: Example a: And he said "where are my chips?" Example ...
3
votes
4answers
334 views

Using the semicolon in my sentence

I am writing an essay and don't have a fundamental understanding in using semicolons, and in fact writing as well. My sentence is below: Group dynamics is the study of the processes and functions ...
2
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2answers
18k views

Can/should I put a comma before a phrase's time specifier?

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 ...
9
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3answers
58k views

When to use commas in a sentence that starts with “finally”, “additionally”, etc.?

If I have a sentence that starts with additionally, finally, consequently, etc. do I always have to put a comma after it? Or is there a different rule?
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Punctuation to introduce a list: comma vs. colon vs. nothing

Which of these sentences is written correctly? Angela has three brothers, Mark, Adam, and Ryan. Angela has three brothers: Mark, Adam, and Ryan. Angela has three brothers Mark, Adam, and ...
10
votes
5answers
11k views

When should you use a semicolon *with* a conjunction?

I know the basics of a semicolon—at least I think I do. Aside from delimiting verbose lists, it separates independent clauses of a sentence. So, if you have two independent clauses in a sentence, ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the phrase, “Use commas sparingly” a valid piece of advice?

I am currently in the process of collaboratively editing a research paper, and participated in a meeting about it today. During the discussion, the head of the group made a blanket statement about ...
2
votes
5answers
5k views

Punctuation around the word “OK” at the end of a sentence

If a sentence ends in "OK", and the sentence is a request, usually there is a comma before the OK and a question mark after it. The comma signifies a pause, correct? What if there was no pause, then ...
2
votes
2answers
956 views

Can “;” be used to replace the word “but”?

Are these two sentences both correct and equivalent? People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars", but it's not true. People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars"; it's not true. Is ...
2
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1answer
540 views

Should I use a comma or semicolon to separate these ideas?

I can no longer remember her face, too much time has passed. I can no longer remember her face; too much time has passed.
2
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2answers
4k views

Does a comma have to be used before a quotation?

If before the quote the word "saying" or "said" is used, does a comma always have to be used before it? When does a comma not have to be used?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is it called when a single word is offset by commas?

I'm not sure if I can generalize this type of construct, but is there a grammar term for single words surrounded by commas? Consider the following examples: Let's assume you are given a length ...
10
votes
5answers
128k views

Is it acceptable to drop the comma in “Thanks, John”? [duplicate]

I grew up learning that the comma must be placed there, but it seems like an unnecessary interruption in a phrase that isn't ever spoken that way.
57
votes
8answers
145k views

Should I always use a comma after “e.g.” or “i.e.”?

It seems that "e.g." is always followed by a comma but "i.e." is not. Why is that?
1
vote
3answers
13k views

How to write a bulleted list? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Question about Capitalization for a Bullet List Periods for bullet point items Should each item be in uppercase or not? I've seen both forms: Yada, yada, yada, ...
1
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0answers
125 views

comma question: (one, two, and three) vs. (one, two and three) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma before last item in a list When listing items in a sentence, is it more acceptable to omit the comma between the penultimate and last item? (assume there will ...
3
votes
0answers
127 views

Usage of 'and' with commas [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma before last item in a list I grew up learning British English rules and we were taught that while using commas to list or enumerate items, there should never be a ...
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1answer
4k views

In the sentence “You, too.”, is the comma acceptable?

I tend to think it is, as "too" serves the role of a referential phrase, repeating the verb-phrase of a preceding sentence, and "you" acts simply as a subject pronoun. But, I've heard an argument to ...
10
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2answers
39k views

Can a sentence starting with “While, …” be grammatically correct?

I have a colleague who often writes sentences in the form "While, [these circumstances would make X seem unlikely to be the case], [these other circumstances show that X is in fact the case]. For ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Where to insert comma(s)?

Compare these: She tried, and, as expected, failed. She tried, and as expected, failed. She tried and, as expected, failed. She tried and as expected, failed. She tried and (as ...
19
votes
6answers
38k views

Should I capitalize the starting sentence after a greeting that ends in a comma (e.g. “Hello,”)?

Should I open the starting sentence after comma in adressing "Hi," ("Hello,") with capital letter? Hi, Xxxl, Dear Xxx L, let me ... vs. Dear Xxx L, Let me ... In Russian it ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

…Capital letter after period(s)?

Excuse my terrible English knowledge, but I have been wondering this for some time already: What is correct for the next phrase?: And he was there. alone. sad. and crying... or And he was ...
4
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5answers
5k views

Coordinating conjunction immediately followed by parenthetical — Is a comma needed or not?

William Strunk's Rules of Usage states: If a dependent clause, or an introductory phrase requiring to be set off by a comma, precedes the second independent clause, no comma is needed after the ...
4
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0answers
371 views

Why do we use a comma before “and”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma before last item in a list Often times, I find myself writing sentences like the following: "... to integrate four granularities of features: first, second, ...
3
votes
5answers
8k views

Verbs in a list separated by commas

I'm not talking about the basic items in a list (e.g. X, Y and Z), but a list of clauses (I think). Example: I am interested in things like going to this place, going to that place, eating food, and ...
4
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2answers
1k views

How to punctuate sentences like “I'm just calling a spade, a spade.”

I was browsing Area 51 and I saw this comment: I'm just calling a spade, a spade. I'm never quite sure how to punctuate sentences like these where a phrase is repeated back to back, without any ...
6
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3answers
7k views

Usage of commas with “albeit”

Is it correct to place two commas in this sentence? New York City plays a significant, albeit previously neglected, role in the urban narratives of [...].
2
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1answer
451 views

Is “With [noun], [subject] [verb]” acceptable instead of “[subject] [verb] with [noun]”?

As an example, is "With grace, she danced." instead of "She danced with grace" proper? It seems to me that "with grace" is an adverb phrase, similar to "gracefully", so it should be able to be used in ...
6
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2answers
571 views

Is there any general rule of thumb that can be followed for where and when to add commas and full stops?

I always mess up with my writing by adding commas and full stops (periods) in the wrong places. Is there any rule of thumb or some other way that I can follow to avoid this problem?
3
votes
4answers
596 views

When do I use the comma?

The monitor being ill, we'd better put the meeting off. The river having risen in the night the crossing was impossible. In the above two sentences, one uses the comma and one does not. So, ...
7
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3answers
5k views

Is it mandatory to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction uniting the two independent clauses in a compound sentence?

My friend and I had an argument about whether this sentence required a comma: I understand where you're coming from but I disagree. My friend insisted that there should be a comma before "but": ...
9
votes
4answers
92k views

Should there be a comma before “though” when it occurs at the end of a sentence?

Consider 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.
2
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1answer
2k views

Syntax analysis of the sentence

I'm trying to analyse the following sentence. To understand the importance of this event you should know all the facts. It seems to me that this sentence is complex, and «To understand ...
15
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1answer
4k views

Comma or no comma before “too”?

Consider the following examples: "And it is a bottle, too." "And it is a bottle too." Is there a semantic difference between these two sentences? Or do they mean the same thing, with or without ...
1
vote
2answers
623 views

In a conditional sentence where the condition contains a list, which serial punctuation mark is used in the list?

For example, If Bobby buys a pencil, an eraser, and a pad of paper, then he can write his essay. To remove the ambiguity in the final comma, my instinct is to write: If Bobby buys a pencil, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Rules about prepositions and duplicating 'to'

On occasion, I end up writing sentences that contain a duplicate word, often what is probably a preposition (or better yet, an adposition). The specific example that I just ran into involves a ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Comma and “too”

Why is there a comma in the following comic?
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2answers
1k views

Is that an adverbial participle? Should there be a comma?

I found the following sentence: In part of my spare time, I work on fun projects. I am not sure as to whether there should be a comma. If it is there, then this obeys some rules, for example on ...
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6answers
58k views

Should there be a comma after “i.e.”?

If I remember correctly from English class, then one should put a comma after "i.e.", i.e., the Latin abbreviation for id est. But lately I've seen the comma after "i.e." dropped in books. So what is ...
7
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2answers
6k views

Comma in conditional sentence and in antithesis

I've got a couple questions: Should I always put comma between condition and consequence parts, like in the following sentence: If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Should I always ...
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0answers
614 views

Do I need to place a comma before an address? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter? I am not sure if the way I have formulated the title of my question is correct, so if you know better, ...