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
4answers
630 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, when ...
3
votes
8answers
2k 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: ...
3
votes
3answers
653 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
337 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
173 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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?
3
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
614 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. Thoughts?...
3
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
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
527 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
275 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
3k 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
299 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
3k 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
300 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
147 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
115 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
222 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
1answer
400 views

Is a comma required between adjectives repeated for emphasis?

When repeating an adjective for emphasis, is a comma required between both words? ... somewhere far, far away ... ... a cold, cold day ... The spell checker on MS Word complains if there ...
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
447 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
473 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
48 views

Comma after also at the beginning of a sentence

I just can't figure it out; some writers use it others don't. For instance,in this para from an article: "On a domestic scale, people whispered about their neighbours, families split along north-...
3
votes
1answer
58 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
2answers
183 views

When should 'viz.' be followed by a comma?

Some Latin abbreviations as 'i.e.' and 'e.g.' are always followed by a comma. For the Latin abbreviation 'viz.', sometimes it is followed by a comma, sometimes it is not. What is the rule for ...
3
votes
1answer
53 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
97 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
116 views

Is Ann Patchett married to her dog? [closed]

In a short review on the occasion of the release of her new book in paperback, This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett, the New York Times reviewer wrote: These sparkling personal ...
3
votes
1answer
348 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
4k 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
209 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
328 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
122 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
539 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
543 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
258 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
3answers
1k 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
1answer
190 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
189 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
33k 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
124 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
170 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
1answer
30 views

Should a comma be used between “us” and a noun describing “us”?

Example: When she needed help moving, she asked us four men. When she needed help moving, she asked us, four men.
3
votes
2answers
411 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
1answer
79 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 ...