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

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Question on lack of comma usage

My English teacher took some points off on a recent paper of mine based on improper comma usage, so I'm coming here for clarification. Here are the examples. The [x]'s indicate where the commas were ...
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Use of a comma after “during” at the beginning of a sentence [closed]

What is the rule regarding the use of a comma when the word "during" appears at the beginning of a sentence? During church the child whimpered incessantly. During church, the child ...
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706 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 ...
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2answers
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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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5answers
881 views

What's the right punctuation for the following list?

Many cases of animal suicide were discused. A duck drowned itself after the death of its companion. A school of dolphins stranded on a beach with no reason whatsoever. A deer threw itself from ...
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4answers
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'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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Is this a comma splice: <Independent clause>, I know

Examples: It's cold, I know. She's awesome, I know. Are these comma splices? If not, what is the name of the I know clause? Is there a name for the whole structure?
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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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229 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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Is it a splice comma if an interjection-phrase is involved?

It's certainly poor style, if not actually wrong, to join independent clauses with a comma when a semicolon or other punctuation would have sufficed. But interjections are usually offset from other ...
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Does “They themselves” need commas?

Which of the following sentences has correct comma usage? a) They themselves can state their feelings. b) They themselves, can state their feelings. c) They, themselves, can state their ...
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2answers
394 views

Proper punctuation of “John’s last words were ‘———’ ” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? When attributing a quote to someone, you put a comma before the quote: John said, "———" But is the comma still used in the ...
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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 ...
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778 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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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 ...
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936 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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1answer
422 views

Joining comma and/or gapping comma

I am German, and we have have a completely different comma system. Due to various reference on this great site here, I bought The Penguin Guide to Punctuation and worked through the comma section. ...
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3answers
232 views

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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2answers
166 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
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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
342 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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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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What is a correct punctuation for a sentence starting with “One more thing”?

In the following sentence what would be the correct punctuation One more thing don't tell anyone about our conversation. Should "One more thing" be separated by comma, dash or colon? Or perhaps ...
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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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2answers
251 views

Comma after “In Section 2”, “In what follows”, or “In 1999”?

I am not exactly sure when I should use a comma after an intro phrase. For example, I have read articles (published in the same journal) in which "In Section 2" gets a comma and others where it does ...
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601 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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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
65 views

Comma after nonrestrictive adverbial (dependent) clause at the end of the sentence

I am confused whether comma is required after adverbial (dependent) clauses at the end of the sentence (and the difference, if any, between restrictive and non-restrictive adverbial clauses). The ...
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2answers
138 views

Use of full stop after closing inverted comma, when the sentence enclosed with inverted commas has a full stop at the end

Suppose I am writing a sentence. The sentence has a sentence in inverted commas. After the closing inverted comma appears, the main sentence also ends. As the main sentence ends, there will a full ...
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1answer
128 views

List of numbers in a sentence with thousands-separators (commas)

I need to list off a few large numbers (with thousands separators) in a sentence. The total number of observations, N=55,123, comprises 92596, 51456, 7714 and 2445 from the first, second, third ...
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1answer
2k 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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636 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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Grammatically, comma or period after “no problem”, “sure”, “okay” and the like

Grammatically, do we put a comma or period after the phrases / words like "no problem", "sure", "okay", and the like, when responding to a request, or there is no grammatical rule and this is purely a ...
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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 ...
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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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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
395 views

Illegal Comma to Enhance Clarity [closed]

A while back, I coined a well-known InfoSec rule: AviD's Rule of Usability: "Security at the expense of usability, comes at the expense of security." Recently I received a comment pointing ...
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3answers
314 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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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
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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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3answers
643 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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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 ...
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3answers
172 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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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
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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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1answer
606 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
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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 ...