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

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82
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15answers
40k views

Should I put a comma before the last item in a list?

Should I put a comma before last item in list? I would like crackers, cheese and some soda. I would like crackers, cheese, and some soda.
24
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I punctuate around quotes?

The American convention in quotations is (typically) to place punctuation inside quoted text. But I always run into situations where the punctuation of the quote interferes with the punctuation of the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Punctuation of direct speech, edge cases

I recently learned that I have developed a consistent, but entirely wrong approach to punctuating direct speech in fiction. I am in the unenviable position of trying to relearn. Previously I wrote ...
17
votes
7answers
14k views

Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter?

Sometimes I see a comma after the proper name: Hello Mr. Black, In order to give you.... But my native language is not English and I think that the comma in this phrase should be placed ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it proper usage to replace a comma in a list with a semi-colon in this situation (see details)?

While writing a proposal at work today I needed to mention a list of things and within that list were multi-part items. It seems like replacing the comma with a semi-colon in this situation would make ...
7
votes
4answers
16k views

In which cases is a comma/period placed inside or outside of parentheses?

Are there cases where a period is placed inside parentheses? In which cases the period (or a comma) should be placed inside the parentheses?
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Parentheses vs. double commas vs. dashes to provide additional detail

When do you use commas and when do you use parentheses to provide more detail about something? For example: The suspect, Tom Wilson, is now being charged with murder. The suspect (Tom Wilson) is ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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?
7
votes
3answers
60k views

Should I use a comma before “and” or “or”?

Is using a comma then an "and" or an "or" after it proper punctuation? Example: I fell over, and hurt my knee. Should I go, or not?
7
votes
3answers
662 views

Is a comma necessary in “What’s funny, is …”?

In the sentence What’s funny is Cat’s dry humour. Wouldn’t it be better to put a comma after “funny”: What’s funny, is Cat’s dry humour. This question entails a (at the time of writing) ...
18
votes
2answers
16k views

Should you use a comma/period after “Thanks”/“Regards” in email signatures?

Normal practice is to end emails with a Thanks or Regards. My question is should there be a comma or a period or nothing after Thanks/Regards? Thanks, John Doe Or Thanks. John ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Really nice, Mat

I see a lot of people saying things such as Nice work, Nick Or Thanks, Mat Is the comma really needed? I'm not 100% sure because my spelling and grammar is not great, but I think it reads ...
14
votes
2answers
30k views

In what cases should I use a comma after “please”?

As far as I can see from different texts, there seems to be no strict rule about putting comma after "Please" when it is used as an introduction to a request. Am I right? In what cases using comma ...
10
votes
4answers
12k views

Should I capitalize the starting sentence after a greeting that ends in a comma (e.g. “Hello,”)?

Should I open the starting sentence after comma in adressing "Hi," ("Hello,") with capital letter? Hi, Xxxl, Dear Xxx L, let me ... vs. Dear Xxx L, Let me ... In Russian it ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Comma after introductory phrases

I am no native speaker and always confused about the comma in introductory phrases, in particular in prepositional phrases. Is there any hard rule when a comma must be set? If I make a google search ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Comma placement when using quotes that end with a question mark [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? I've been writing a letter to an editor, and one line of my response reads: In your article "What Makes Free Will Free?" you ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

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. ...
4
votes
1answer
570 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
344 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?
1
vote
3answers
112 views

Comma after address

Here's an example: Chocolate lovers rejoice! Chocolate lovers, rejoice! To my understanding, the first one says that chocolate lovers are rejoicing and in the second one, we are asking ...
0
votes
2answers
753 views

Repeating “to” in a list of verbs connected by “and”

"This group’s main duties are to carry out information systems audits in Colombian banks and to make research and develop new regulations on information technologies and systems in the banking ...
-2
votes
1answer
5k views

Sentence with multiple 'and's: should I use an Oxford comma, and if so, where? [closed]

I have the following sentence: I am a self-starter possessing excellent problem solving ability and outstanding coordination and communication skills. Using the Oxford comma, what is the correct ...
29
votes
7answers
59k views

Should I always use a comma after “e.g.” or “i.e.”?

It seems that "e.g." is always followed by a comma but "i.e." is not. Why is that?
12
votes
3answers
51k views

Do you need a comma before a subordinating conjunction (like if)?

Are both of the following sentences correct? a: You can call me, if you need me. OR b: You can call if you need me. Note that in a:, the comma is placed before the "if" and is not present in case ...
12
votes
5answers
32k views

Placement of comma before quotation mark

What is the rule for comma placement before a quotation mark? When should the comma go before and when should it go after the quotation mark?
15
votes
4answers
11k views

Is it appropriate to put a comma before “which”?

On Server Fault, we were discussing this question in chat. There are non-native speakers in the chat and somehow we got on the topic of grammar and proper use of commas. The sentence of interest: ...
13
votes
5answers
53k views

When do we need to put a comma after “so”?

I noticed that most of the times when the conjunction "so" is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma: So, this gets published but the fact that it is inaccurate gets ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it mandatory to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction uniting the two independent clauses in a compound sentence?

My friend and I had an argument about whether this sentence required a comma: I understand where you're coming from but I disagree. My friend insisted that there should be a comma before "but": ...
20
votes
9answers
42k views

Using a comma before “but”

I was once told by an English professor that a comma should never be used before but in a sentence. For years, I have followed her advice but sometimes I just feel like it just needs to be there. On ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Meaning of “My friend, who lives in Paris, is a teacher” with and without commas

Can anyone help me understand the difference in meaning between these two sentences? My friend who lives in Paris is a teacher. My friend, who lives in Paris, is a teacher. To me it ...
7
votes
3answers
23k views

When to use commas in a sentence that starts with “finally”, “additionally”, etc.?

If I have a sentence that starts with additionally, finally, consequently, etc. do I always have to put a comma after it? Or is there a different rule?
8
votes
5answers
43k views

Is it acceptable to drop the comma in “Thanks, John”? [duplicate]

I grew up learning that the comma must be placed there, but it seems like an unnecessary interruption in a phrase that isn't ever spoken that way.
30
votes
5answers
24k views

Should there be a comma after “i.e.”?

If I remember correctly from English class, then one should put a comma after "i.e.", i.e., the Latin abbreviation for id est. But lately I've seen the comma after "i.e." dropped in books. So what is ...
5
votes
3answers
21k views

When should one use the comma versus the semicolon, and vice versa?

I cannot understand the difference between the comma and semicolon. Can you please clarify?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Comma or no comma before “too”?

Consider the following examples: "And it is a bottle, too." "And it is a bottle too." Is there a semantic difference between these two sentences? Or do they mean the same thing, with or without ...
7
votes
4answers
800 views

Comma and “too”

Why is there a comma in the following comic?
4
votes
3answers
34k views

Use of a semicolon before and comma after “however”

Several years ago, a previous boss told me to use a semicolon and comma with the word "however". I've always questioned this and would like to know if the following random sentences are using the ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Which type of comma is used here?

I was reading a book called "The Penguin Guide to Punctuation" by R. L. Trask. It seems that the book doesn't explain all the uses of comma. It says "There are four uses of the comma, called the ...
5
votes
5answers
923 views

When to use a comma before “and”

I often see people on the Internet using a comma before and in many cases (not adversative cases). Is it ok? In my language it is stricly prohibited to use a comma before an and except for adversative ...
5
votes
3answers
404 views

What is a comma splice?

Is this a comma splice? What makes a sentence a comma splice? Being left at the altar on her wedding day, Pamela became furious.
4
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
90 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?
2
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
749 views

What is the correct way to write “God bless America”?

I've seen people write "God bless America", and it drives me nuts. Shouldn't it be "God, bless America"?
8
votes
4answers
359 views

Should enclosing commas be treated as parentheses?

I just read the following in Dan Ariely's book Predictably Irrational, [...] Zoe, and the other kids to whom I offered the same deal, was completely blinded by [...] p. 57 To me it would have ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Usage of “and” and comma when writing numbers UK style

I am trying to understand the rules for writing numbers in words under the UK rules (with "and"). I understand how to write small numbers (up to a few thousands), but I am not sure when to use "and" ...
4
votes
2answers
851 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
417 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Using a comma in a sentence with multiple “and”s

The sentence I'm having trouble with is: Track monetary and material donations and compose gift acknowledgement letters. I am trying to express that I keep track of both monetary and material ...