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

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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
220 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
171 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
161 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
2k 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
913 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 ...
4
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1answer
172 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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3answers
95 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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3answers
456 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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5k 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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2answers
73 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
564 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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195 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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583 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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1answer
212 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
281 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
10k 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
435 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
801 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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3answers
440 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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4k 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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3answers
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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4answers
278 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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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
12k 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: ...
3
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1answer
385 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
842 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
162 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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654 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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408 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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238 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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2answers
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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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649 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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41 views

Is a comma required here?

"During the war David was a pilot in the RAF." This sentence looks OK to me, but would there be any reason for or against putting a comma after "war"?
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1answer
188 views

Does this sentence have too many subjunctives?

Does this sentence have too many subjunctives? If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge ...
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134 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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870 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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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 ...
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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
326 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 ...
3
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1answer
172 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 ...
3
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1answer
135 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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249 views

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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104 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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361 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 ...