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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
510 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
265 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
votes
3answers
2k views

comma with phrases that use “yet”

I am using a sentence of the following form in a formal document. This paper shows strong, yet very circuitous, analysis. The sentence is expected to express that the analysis is strong but ...
3
votes
1answer
286 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
294 views

Is this a correct use for semicolons?

Is this sentence punctuated correctly? Not only am I a wife, but a mother; not only a daughter, but a sister; not only a coworker, but a friend.
3
votes
3answers
54 views

Should I put a comma after “Thank you”? [duplicate]

A coworker replied to an earlier email from me with some very good news. I wanted to thank him for his help. I was hoping to start with Thank you, Jim. That is wonderful news... OR is it ...
3
votes
2answers
92 views

Why is there — and should there be — a comma following a state or country's name?

This Capital Community College document best describes my dilemma: “When both a city's name and that city's state or country's name are mentioned together, the state or country's name is treated as a ...
3
votes
3answers
153 views

Comma usage (ex. His sister, Anne, was not feeling well.) [duplicate]

I would just like to clarify if in this kind of sentence, where you state the name of a person, are commas always needed to offset Anne? His sister, Anne, was not feeling well. Or is it ...
3
votes
3answers
59 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"?
3
votes
4answers
369 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
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
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
437 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
votes
1answer
35 views

Commas and nicknames

I want to know, do you have to use a comma after a nickname WITH a name? Like would it be "Rose darling, how are you?" or "Rose, darling, how are you?" I'm curious to know what is the correct way to ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

What's the correct use of a comma when thanking someone?

When writing quick replies to emails (usually to say thank you, etc.) I've taken to using the following style: "Thank you, Ben! Regards, Øyvind" That is, I insert a comma before the subject. Is ...
3
votes
3answers
51 views

Should a comma be used in a scientific quantity such as wavelength?

In astronomy we often use a unit called Angstrom which is a unit of length. The symbol is \AA. Should I write 3000 A or 3,000 A? How strict is the rule for using commas?
3
votes
1answer
310 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
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a comma needed before quotation?

Sam developed an annual sweepstakes promotion entitled “The Free Gas Punt Return Game”. Do I need a comma after entitled or not?
3
votes
1answer
191 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?
3
votes
3answers
323 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
118 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?
3
votes
1answer
488 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
490 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.
3
votes
2answers
246 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.
3
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
73 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
873 views

Comma after a coordinating conjunction preceding a parenthetical at the start of the sentence

Although similar questions have been asked before, I am still not clear as to official or, at the very least, preferred position from punctuation rules point of view on comma after coordinating ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Hello [Comma?] John,

I have a follow up question to this question: Should you use a comma/period after "Thanks"/"Regards" in email signatures? My question is: when should you add a comma when starting ...
3
votes
1answer
171 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.
3
votes
2answers
160 views

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" ...
3
votes
2answers
25k views

Any exception with commas before and after “for example”?

I know that usually there should be a comma after "for example" and "for instance" but in the following sentences the commas would seem odd, wouldn't they? While it is common practice to do ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

is this an example of the oxford comma? if not, why?

"I'm a self-employed, nerdy queer girl." Is that an oxford comma that's omitted, or something else entirely? If it's something else that's omitted, what is it? Why doesn't the oxford comma apply?
3
votes
1answer
157 views

When writing user stories, should there be a comma after “As a User”, and before “I want”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma after introductory phrases Agile software development often encourages people to write up user stories using a given formula. The formula is: "As a User I want to ...
3
votes
2answers
53 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Is it OK to omit 'that' after 'however, in the middle of a sentence?

I know it is generally okay to omit 'that' which introduces a sentence, but I am not sure if it is OK to omit 'that' right after 'however' which is put in the middle of a sentence as follows. I ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

When to put a comma before participial phrase

This site is excellent. Thank you! A Japanese colleague of mine recently asked me to explain to him the rules about comma usage in the following two sentences (taken from an English textbook): "He ...
3
votes
1answer
268 views

Usage of the Oxford Comma with “and”

I was told that this sentence is correct with the usage of a comma before and after the word and. I want to correct my grammar if I am in error. To claim a prize, send a Private Message to me ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

Is there a comma before the word until in the sentence below?

In this sentence: They are not taking their team photograph until Friday at 7:30. On my son’s punctuation test, he did not use a comma after photograph, and his teacher marked this “missing” ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Punctuation for a Shakespeare quote

I am putting a quote on a plaque, but am uncertain how to punctuate it. Any help would be appreciated. This above all: to thine own self be true Do I put in a comma (which is in the original ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Too many “and”s? Is it grammatically correct?

A friend of mine (a non-native speaker of English) has asked me to check her CV and I'm afraid / ashamed to say, I'm having trouble. Are there too many "and"s in the given sentence? It seems OK to ...
3
votes
1answer
445 views

Where shall I put the comma in this sentence?

I'm not sure whether I should write like this: Try A or, a more famous one, B. Or like this Try A, or a more famous one, B. Or try other forms to avoid expression like this. Does anyone ...
3
votes
2answers
492 views

Is a comma in this sentence required? [closed]

In the sentence below, is the comma optional or should it (not) be there? I can hear it there when this is spoken, but I am not convinced it needs to be there in written form. In order to pass ...
3
votes
3answers
21k views

Comma before quote marks around article title?

I'm thinking about making a headline. I know you would use a comma here: Professor Bill Bick then told me, "There will be more jobs when the economy recovers." What about here? Read ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Will the comma suffice to indicate whether the subject or the object is being modified?

There are two separate meanings I'm trying to convey with the following two sentences: 1) "I painted my brother sitting against the wall." 2) "I painted my brother, sitting against the ...
3
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
33 views

When not to use a comma before dialogue

I'm struggling with when to omit the comma before dialogue (as well as when to use capitals) in fiction writing. My understanding is that you would omit the comma before/after something like "he says" ...
3
votes
1answer
560 views

Is vocative comma rule vanishing?

According to some grammars[1][2] and CMS... "Interjections and vocative should be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas". The vocative case [1] is used to indicate direct address (i.e., ...