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

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476 views

Should enclosing commas be treated as parentheses?

I just read the following in Dan Ariely's book Predictably Irrational, [...] Zoe, and the other kids to whom I offered the same deal, was completely blinded by [...] p. 57 To me it would have ...
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2answers
4k 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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4answers
628 views

Adjective order: Why is “big” before “beautiful”?

I was reading an English children story to my niece the other day when I came across these phrases said by three different characters: I want a big, beautiful hat! I want a big, ...
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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 ...
3
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1answer
20k views

Sincerely [comma?] name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should you use a comma/period after “Thanks”/“Regards” in email signatures? I see answers on how to end a letter putting a comma after for example sincerely, like: ...
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3answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
487 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, ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Comma with 'who' in this specific sentence

Can you shed light into this? The coach came to the defence of the player who has been sacked from the team following his differences with the captain. OR The coach came to the defence of the ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Using a comma in a sentence with multiple “and”s

The sentence I'm having trouble with is: Track monetary and material donations and compose gift acknowledgement letters. I am trying to express that I keep track of both monetary and material ...
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4answers
157 views

Should there be a comma in 'a 30-day, money-back guarantee'?

Is a comma needed in the following phrases? 30-day, money-back guarantee 90-day, no-risk trial If so, why? If not, why not? I've seen them written both ways — with and without the comma ...
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1answer
4k views

In my example, comma or no comma before the word respectively?

In the graph for all arrests, and DUI arrests, the effect of the MLDA is about 125 and 50 increase in arrests rate respectively. I personally think no comma should be put before the word - ...
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3answers
44k views

Do you always have to put a comma before someone's name? [duplicate]

Example: (1) Hello John. (2) Hello, John? (3) How are you today John? (4) How are you today, John? (5) I wish I could John. (6) I wish I could, John. Must there always be a comma before ...
0
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4answers
586 views

Difference between using a “-” and a “,” in a sentence

I have noticed that some native english speakers use the "-" sign to explain some additional things in a sentence: eg Sophie is going to the shop - which happened to be around the corner - to ...
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6answers
15k views

If you're starting a sentence with “and” or another conjunction, must you follow the conjunction with a comma?

When I was a kid, I was always told that starting a sentence off with "and" was improper. However, now it seems as if the consensus amongst members of the English cartel is that it is totally ...
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5answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Tending to misuse comma

I tend to misuse commas in large way. Whenever I draft a professional mail, I get engrossed in the points, and somewhere along the way I get the feeling that this sentence is too long. I then ...
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vote
3answers
11k 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, ...
16
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1answer
11k views

“If” with implicit “then” question: Should a comma be used?

Consider the following phrase: If the fruit is an apple, it should be given to children. Is the comma after apple necessary? Is it optional? Is it wrong?
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votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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 ...
3
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4answers
6k 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 ...
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5answers
18k 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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5answers
11k views

Should there be a comma after 'and'?

This is a bit of a strange question because I know that there should never ever be a comma after 'and.' But what if there's a parenthetical statement/clause-thing right after it? Let me demonstrate. ...
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3answers
637 views

Do these adjectives refer to ice?

In this sentence from Wuthering Heights I declined joining their breakfast, and, at the first gleam of dawn, took an opportunity of escaping into the free air, now clear, and still, and cold ...
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10answers
3k views

Why is the sentence “She sighed, and began whispering again” grammatically incorrect?

That's a line from a Twilight book. It's a grammar mistake pointed out by this website. She sighed, and began whispering again. I don't see anything wrong with it. Is the comma the mistake?
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4answers
5k 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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4answers
5k 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, ...
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4answers
8k 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 ...
6
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3answers
6k 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 [...].
6
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2answers
498 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?
5
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4answers
310 views

When should an adjective be followed by a comma?

This happened whenever she was left alone in someone else's home. She'd feel as if she had been put inside a huge, abandoned turtle shell. I don't know why, but I just put a comma in the ...
5
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1answer
5k views

Does a comma have to be used before 'because'?

I have a big house because my parents are rich. I have a big house, because my parents are rich. Are there are some exceptions as well?
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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 ...
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3answers
401 views

Oxford Comma Conventions

According to the Wikipedia page for the Oxford Comma, "Use of the comma is consistent with conventional practice" and "Use of the comma is inconsistent with conventional practice." Did the Oxford ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Comma use dividing two lists in one sentence

How do I properly punctuate this sentence: "Prepared, packaged, and priced beef, pork, chicken, and seafood." I am trying to say that I did those three actions to those four kinds of meat, but I am ...
3
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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
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3answers
250 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 ...
3
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3answers
32k 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 ...
3
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4answers
4k views

Commas after Conjunctions

So we've already discussed at length whether it's okay to start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction, and it's pretty clear that it is (and I've already done it in this sentence). But (there we ...
2
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1answer
802 views

punctuating So and Then at the beginning of a sentence

I am confused when to put a comma after "so" and after "then" at the start of a sentence. And then that's when you went to the store? Then at McDonald's you were only there for a year, year ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Do you separate an imperative after a conjunction by a comma?

I want you to go and ask him the price, but don't tell him I sent you. Is this a main clause followed by a coordinating clause (imperative)? Pour the vodka into the glass, and add orange ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Are commas considered superfluous in legal documents?

I'm in the process of purchasing a house and reading through the contract, I can't find a single instance of the comma. (As if legalese wasn't hard enough to read already!) This includes the ...
2
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4answers
678 views

Usage of a comma before “and” in a fairly complex sentence

How would I punctuate the following sentence: Furious, John strove to catch Jim by the shirt so that he might throw him against the wall, but once more, Jim was too quick. Where I'm getting ...
2
votes
2answers
251 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
490 views

Should there be a comma in “The heading reads, 'a chart heading.'”?

I have a sentence along the lines of The heading reads, "a chart heading." The comma seems a bit awkward to me, but I cannot seem to find any explicit guidance in the Chicago Manual of Style on ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Comma usage and maintain succinctness

I have started my book with the words "The day I was born, Granny died." On reading all the comma rules this doesn't seem quite right. Should the comma be replaced by a semicolon? I wanted the first ...
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1answer
60 views

comma to set off two verbs/phrases with different prepositions

If I write a sentence that makes use of two verbs each relying on a different preposition, is it advisable to add commas to structure the sentence and to guide the reader, or is it not necessary (or ...
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1answer
202 views

Can the Oxford Comma be used with a list of adjectives of the same type?

I was wondering if a list of classifying adjectives of the same type could use the Oxford Comma. For example: social, political, and economic problems is it a correct expression? I was checking a ...
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3answers
89 views

Comma in a series of words?

I am confused if I should use a comma in the following series? Note that there is no "and" in the series, and all the three adjectives, i.e., powerful, high-throughput and low-complexity are modifying ...