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

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743 views

Are commas properly used in “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”?

George Bernard Shaw said, "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." Are commas properly used in these sentences? In my mind, the comma in each sentence improperly separates the noun ("he") from the ...
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3answers
151 views

Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work

I write stuff like this: Karen, our team can help you. However, in this case I wrote: Karen, Mike and Joe can help you. I was trying to tell Karen that Mike and Joe could help her. ...
2
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4answers
3k views

Punctuation around the word “OK” at the end of a sentence

If a sentence ends in "OK", and the sentence is a request, usually there is a comma before the OK and a question mark after it. The comma signifies a pause, correct? What if there was no pause, then ...
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5answers
261 views

Should there be a comma or a colon here?

His latest album is Foo featuring his band, Bar. His latest album is Foo featuring his band: Bar. Which is the more appropriate way to punctuate the sentence?
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2answers
736 views

Can “;” be used to replace the word “but”?

Are these two sentences both correct and equivalent? People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars", but it's not true. People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars"; it's not true. Is ...
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4answers
37k views

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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2answers
308 views

Usage of a comma in a dedication

Does the dedication "To my beloved John" need a comma after "beloved"?
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2answers
10k views

Punctuation in “or in other words”

In a Math.SE question, I used the sentence: “some two of these propositions are true and the third one is false”, or in other words, “exactly 2 of 3 propositions are true” Here I used “or in ...
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2answers
31k views

“Especially” and commas

I'm curious about the correct usage of commas in the following sentence: "Secondary electron emission from metallic and especially dielectric surfaces is a fundamental process of great technological ...
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5answers
179 views

The wooden dock was crowded, everyone excited for the show to start

I read this sentence in a book on writing. "The wooden dock was crowded, everyone excited for the show to start." Isn't this incorrect? If your combining to clauses don't you need to use and? Also why ...
2
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2answers
146 views

“Although, the causes of…” or “Although the causes”?

I'm correcting something which my friend wrote. He wrote about incidents that had occurred while working in a mine, and stated that although the cause of each incident may have been different, they ...
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1answer
477 views

Should I use a comma or semicolon to separate these ideas?

I can no longer remember her face, too much time has passed. I can no longer remember her face; too much time has passed.
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2answers
3k views

…Capital letter after period(s)?

Excuse my terrible English knowledge, but I have been wondering this for some time already: What is correct for the next phrase?: And he was there. alone. sad. and crying... or And he was ...
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2answers
228 views

Should I place a comma in “I live in London where I work at a coffeeshop”

Should I put a comma between "London" and "where" in the following sentence, or is it acceptable not to include it? I live in London where I work at a coffeeshop brewing delicious coffee.
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3answers
7k views

Starting a sentence with 'About your question, …'

I have noticed myself often starting a sentence like this: About your drawing question, I don't think there is an easy way to draw these shapes. Is it formal to start a sentence that way (formal ...
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7answers
174 views

How to write a pair of pairs without sounding awkward

I am attempting to write a list of pairs of people, like so: "The pairings are Bob and Jane, Joe and Mary, and Fred and Ashley." This works fine in that the comma lets you know where each pairing is ...
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2answers
274 views

Scientific writing: comma after “where” while explaining variables?

I am writing a scientific report. Lets say there is an equation, c = a+b where, a is variable1 b is variable2 Is it needed to put comma after "where" here? Also at the end of the equation, is a ...
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4answers
3k views

Is there supposed to be a comma when the word “had” is used 4 times in a row?

There's a particular sentence which I've been pondering over: All the faith he had had had had no effect on the outcome of his life. Some people seem to think there's supposed to be a comma ...
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1answer
1k views

Using dashes vs. commas in business communications

Having settled into a new job in communications, I am faced with the issue of em dashes. Since I am quite partial to commas but my boss is more partial to em dashes, I can't help but wonder whether ...
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4answers
1k views

Comma placement following a coordinating connector

Is there a de jure standard in print media for comma placement following a coordinating connector? The situation is perilous, but if we are prepared to act promptly, there is still one chance of ...
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2answers
483 views

checking parts of speech pattern of this sentence

I wonder if the following sentence is grammatically correct. Foobar is a novel, set in a scenic landscape of farmland and ancient woodland on the banks of the River Foo. I suppose the word "set" ...
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1answer
64 views

Ergative with Because [closed]

Are these punctuated correctly and is the parenthetical reasoning for each valid and sound? She's not running for class president, because she is scared. (= comma before "because" means she is not ...
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1answer
250 views

Two pairs of items and three times and. How to put the comma?

I'm just proofreading my thesis a last time and I stumbled upon the following (I'm nonnative english speaker): To describe the flow of two fluids with saturations S and T and pressures P and Q, we ...
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1answer
424 views

Is a comma necessary before “for which”?

Is a comma needed in this sentence? Is for which used correctly in this sentence? We define message codes for which security is well defined.
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2answers
801 views

Should “which percentage” or “what percentage” be used within a sentence?

I have the following paragraph: "The contents of a fish tank with 70 fish, of which 10 percent are goldfish, are added to another fish tank with 130 fish, of which 20 percent are goldfish. After the ...
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1answer
127 views

The author writes that he “couldn't understand why…" — a comma needed before the quote?

Usually, if I am writing that a person said something, I would precede the quoted text with a comma, like this: Then he said, "I don't know why it happened." However, in this sentence, an editor ...
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2answers
1k views

Are commas considered superfluous in legal documents?

I'm in the process of purchasing a house and reading through the contract, I can't find a single instance of the comma. (As if legalese wasn't hard enough to read already!) This includes the ...
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1answer
515 views

Last I checked, we put commas after appositive phrases

The Official SAT Study Guide, Second Edition's second practice test's writing section contains the following question, with the objective to choose the answer that is most correct. Through his ...
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3answers
885 views

How do you punctuate around parentheses?

Which of these punctuation examples is more correct? On December 7, 1941, ("a date which will live in infamy") Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941 ("a date which will live in ...
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1answer
96 views

Comma in “Before I go I will return the book” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use the comma? Before I go I will return the book. Do we have to use a comma in the above sentence?
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2answers
6k views

If “whenever possible” is in the middle of a sentence, does it need to be preceded by a comma?

The sentence in question is "We believe that the best way to think about the mentor-mentee relationship is to remember that whenever possible, all adults in a child's life should act as a team.  It ...
2
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1answer
296 views

Parentheses vs. commas vs. hyphen or dash in a list of people

In a list of people published in a bulletin, which is correct? We continue in prayer for: Amy B.(cancer), T. Jones(nephew of Tim), Lillie (on the death of her brother), Sally(Nursing Home), ...
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1answer
26 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 ...
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4answers
85 views

“), or ,”) in the middle of a sentence? [duplicate]

I think commas are typically placed after closed parentheses and within quotation marks. This creates a dilemma when all three are used together. Example one: You may like snelms (or "snail helms,") ...
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3answers
84 views

Usage of comma in “Some like it hot, others cold” [closed]

How does one punctuate the following construct: Some like it hot, others, cold. Somehow, the two commas seem incorrect or at least awkward. Should the second one be omitted altogether? Or should ...
2
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2answers
276 views

Is using a comma as a pause correct?

More often than not, I find myself using a comma as sort of a pause. In most cases, it feels right. But I fear that I over use commas and put them in places where they are not necessary. Some ...
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1answer
962 views

“You are right; I'm sorry” — semicolon or comma?

You are right; I'm sorry. You are right, I'm sorry. Do we use the semicolon or comma? A full stop works. Two independent clauses so perhaps the semicolon should be used.
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4answers
652 views

Usage of a comma before “and” in a fairly complex sentence

How would I punctuate the following sentence: Furious, John strove to catch Jim by the shirt so that he might throw him against the wall, but once more, Jim was too quick. Where I'm getting ...
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2answers
481 views

Should I use a comma in written instructions?

I'm writing a technical user guide for a piece of software and am not sure whether I should be using a comma or not when giving instructions. Which of the following is correct? To add a new item ...
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1answer
217 views

Does this sentence contain an introductory clause? [closed]

I could do this myself, but I suggest you follow the manual. In the above sentence, does "I could do this myself" count as an introductory clause? Or does the conjunction modify it? Also, is it ...
2
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2answers
317 views

Do these sentences contain comma splices? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a comma splice? My girlfriend wants me to correct her fan-fiction, and to me it looks fine stylistically, but I wonder if some of the sentences are technically ...
2
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1answer
158 views

Correctly using a semicolon? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does one correctly use a semicolon? I was wondering if the following was the correct usage of a semicolon or if a comma is more apt for this use. Well, have we ...
2
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2answers
13k views

Can/should I put a comma before a phrase's time specifier?

For instance, consider the sentence, "I ate lunch today." Is it necessary or acceptable to put a comma before "today?" Generally speaking, some of these time phrases look wrong to me when used with a ...
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2answers
4k views

Does a comma have to be used before a quotation?

If before the quote the word "saying" or "said" is used, does a comma always have to be used before it? When does a comma not have to be used?
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1answer
352 views

Is “With [noun], [subject] [verb]” acceptable instead of “[subject] [verb] with [noun]”?

As an example, is "With grace, she danced." instead of "She danced with grace" proper? It seems to me that "with grace" is an adverb phrase, similar to "gracefully", so it should be able to be used in ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Syntax analysis of the sentence

I'm trying to analyse the following sentence. To understand the importance of this event you should know all the facts. It seems to me that this sentence is complex, and «To understand ...
2
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1answer
34 views

The ambiguity of negative imperative

11) Don't just sit there and introduce yourself! 12) Don't just sit around and eat! Is it right that those two sentences eventually convey Don't sit and also don't introduce in #11 and "don't sit ...
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1answer
70 views

How to describe a confusion matrix correctly

In computer science, we a use a thing called confusion matrix for reporting results from supervised machine learning algorithms. It looks like this The image was taken from here. I would like to ...
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1answer
101 views

Issue with the subject-verb agreement in the nonrestrictive clause?

Reading was very important to John's parents, both of them firsts in their families to go to college. Is the nonrestrictive/relative clause "both of them firsts in their families to go to ...
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2answers
113 views

Triple Commas not acceptable?

I'm wondering why this phrasing: I spend most days thinking about the future. Hoping that I'm on the right path, I do my best at everything I can. is preferred over this one: I spend most ...