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

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Is it true that which clause should always start with a comma? [duplicate]

Every time when I write a sentence in Microsoft Word like this: the rats which are the food of snake are crazily growing. It always recommends me to rewrite like this: the rats, which are ...
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41k views

Use of a semicolon before and comma after “however”

Several years ago, a previous boss told me to use a semicolon and comma with the word "however". I've always questioned this and would like to know if the following random sentences are using the ...
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160 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
878 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 ...
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1answer
52 views

Is a comma the correct punctuation in “Help a thief?”

Recently, one of my friends on Facebook posted this cartoon in which a police officer helps a thief in response to the exclamation "Help a thief!" The contention is that the victim should have used a ...
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84 views

Punctuation of a dependent clause for strong emphasis

Which of the sentences below is correct if I want to strongly emphasize that the pencil is not is not white? This is a black instead of a white pencil. This is a black, instead of a white, ...
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423 views

Subordinating conjunction following conjunctive adverb

Dogs are usually friendly; however, while eating some are unpredictable. Does "eating" need to be followed by a comma? It appears to me that a comma is necessary because "while eating" functions ...
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69 views

Punctuation of this: Their movements, quick and effortless; mine, lumbering and heavy

I'm not sure how to punctuate this: Their movements, quick and effortless; mine, lumbering and heavy. Maybe I got it right. Any thoughts?
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1answer
510 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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101 views

When using ellipsis to omit list items, is a comma required after the last item before the ellipsis or not?

Which, if any, format do you consider preferable? "10, 11, 12, ... 19, 20." "Violet, Indigo, ... Orange, Red." -OR- "10, 11, 12 ... 19, 20." "Violet, Indigo ... Orange, Red."
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573 views

Punctuation within quotes

When I was at school I was told that a quote should end with a comma. For example: "The car is on the road," said Tom. "No it isn't," replied Dick. "He's right — it's over there!" said Harry. ...
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210 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 ...
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How to use AP Style commas after dates

I was wondering how you are supposed to use commas after full dates in AP style. I've been told to always put a comma after the year, like in the sentence: On April 4th, 2012, I found a cat. ...
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370 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, ...
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3answers
280 views

Should I reformat this sentence? [closed]

I kind of feel like the first comma in the sentence below should be a semi-colon. Does anything else in there read funny? As you’ll see in my enclosed resume, I have the educational background, ...
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5answers
8k 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 ...
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4answers
423 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, ...
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8answers
747 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: ...
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398 views

Contexts where a comma means “and”

A comma is commonly used as a short form of the word and in newspaper headlines. In what other contexts is this convention common? This question came to mind as I was trying to parse the following ...
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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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3answers
3k 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 ...
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167 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 ...
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267 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Are there too many commas in this sentence?

I moved to Huntington Beach, California, the home of my favorite band, Avenged Sevenfold, and started school there as a junior. Are there too many commas in this sentence?
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Should the title of a short story have a comma after it if it is the subject of a sentence?

A friend of mine was asking me this question. She used the following sentence in her essay for her English class: "Harrison Bergeron" is a laughable read. However, her English professor marked this ...
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1answer
359 views

Salutation punctuation: is “Hi!,” okay? [closed]

A friend of mine uses both an exclamation mark and a comma in his letter salutations, like so: Hi George!, I have never seen this before, and was wondering if it's grammatically kosher. ...
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1answer
744 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 ...
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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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5answers
157 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. ...
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557 views

Breaking comma rules to emphasize a pause in a character quote or elsewhere

My wife is writing a book, and just got a draft back from an editor. The editor noted extra commas in numerous sentences like this: He looked at her closely, but all she said was, "I am truly ...
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380 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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233 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 ...
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Punctuation with block-quotes

How do I properly place a comma after a big block-quote? Let's say I have a sentence like this: The author states: < a big quote goes here. >, therefore... Since my sentence continues after ...
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546 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 ...
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112 views

Pauses and Punctuation

My girlfriend and I were discussing the following sentence: "Curiosity and diversity were discouraged, at times, disciplined." I feel that there is clearly a larger pause with the first comma than ...
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707 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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1answer
307 views

Confused as to whether I should use commas or not

I am getting some gifts engraved for my wedding party and I can't decide whether to use commas or not. Should it be: Thank you Neil for being our Usher or: Thank you, Neil, for being our ...
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1answer
127 views

Dependent clause/ prepositional phrase in second clause with comma

Am I right in punctuating the sentence this way? Joe and Jim walked down the street, and, at the corner, Joe found a nickel. This is just an example. More importantly, I need to know in general case ...
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1answer
115 views

Should a serial comma be used when mimicking Victorian-era British text?

I am editing a manuscript that mimics the style of late 19th-century British writing. To what extent were serial commas used during this time period?
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How to join two phrases sharing a common ending

One of my professors asked me if I would be working on an assignment alone or in a group. I responded by saying: I was looking at the assignment and I feel that I am capable of, and therefore ...
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102 views

“It is, a done deed” [closed]

Comment on imgur: Actually that's an appropriate use, comma used for the purpose of producing a short pause to add emphasis to what follows. Is the comma in it is, a done deed correctly used?
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341 views

Comma — a punctuation error?

Consider: This book provides a solid psychological understanding of these experiments, and adds a few expansions and conclusions of its own. It also provides … My question regards the comma. I ...
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1answer
312 views

Use of comma following prepositional phrase

Is a comma required after the date (year only or day of week only) that is in a prepositional phrase before the subject of the sentence? For example: In 1966 I began college.
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169 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.
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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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77 views

Using a comma before “and we already have a toaster.” [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? No gifts please, we don't need any orchids and we already have a toaster. No gifts please, we don't need any orchids , and we already have a toaster.
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No comma preceding quote from a document?

I am a court reporter, and I was recently informed that I should not put a comma before a quote from a document. E.g., in the sentence: John said, "We need to clear this item," the comma after "said" ...