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

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103
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15answers
87k 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.
49
votes
8answers
110k 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?
38
votes
6answers
45k 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 ...
34
votes
4answers
3k views

Complete the job, as directed. There is a comma. why?

The following sentences both say that you have been directed to do a job: Complete the job, as directed. vs Complete the job as directed. But which of the two sentences above will assert ...
30
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
218k views

Should there always be a comma after “therefore”,“However” etc.?

Should you always type a comma after "therefore","however" etc. in the beginning of a sentence? Also, when these (and similar) words are used in the middle of a sentence, should there be a comma or ...
24
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

I thought blah blah blah, and I was right. Is the comma correct?

This sentence is bugging me: I knew going in that the orange flavor component of the cake was going to be lacking, and I was right. The comma doesn't seem to be enough, but the semicolon just ...
22
votes
9answers
75k 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
30k 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
27k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
23k 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: ...
19
votes
2answers
51k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
61k views

When ending a list with “etc.”, should there be a comma before “etc.”?

When listing items and ending the list with "etc", should there be a comma before "etc."? E.g. red, green, blue, etc. or red, green, blue etc. Related question, though this one involves ...
16
votes
10answers
3k views

Why is the sentence “She sighed, and began whispering again” grammatically incorrect?

That's a line from a Twilight book. It's a grammar mistake pointed out by this website. She sighed, and began whispering again. I don't see anything wrong with it. Is the comma the mistake?
16
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
150k 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?
16
votes
5answers
100k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
11k views

“If” with implicit “then” question: Should a comma be used?

Consider the following phrase: If the fruit is an apple, it should be given to children. Is the comma after apple necessary? Is it optional? Is it wrong?
15
votes
6answers
26k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
68k 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?
14
votes
3answers
77k views

Should “So”, “Therefore”, “Hence”, and “Thus” be followed by commas?

Often, I have come across sentences that begin with "So". Should such an usage of "So" be followed by a comma? Are the following examples correct. He is very good at computers. So, I think he can ...
13
votes
3answers
92k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
39k 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?
11
votes
4answers
5k views

If you're using a quote with a period but do not want to end the sentence, do you keep the period?

For example. If I want to quote a passage from a writing, that says The cake is not a lie. and my sentence is: The book by author states that "The cake is not a lie." however studies show ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Commas around non-parenthetical name like “The famous playwright, William Shakespeare, was born…”?

I commonly see commas used like: "The famous playwright, William Shakespeare, was born in Stratford-upon-Avon." It bothers me, but I'm curious to hear explanations of why this is done, and if it can ...
11
votes
3answers
123k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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"?
10
votes
2answers
31k views

Can a sentence starting with “While, …” be grammatically correct?

I have a colleague who often writes sentences in the form "While, [these circumstances would make X seem unlikely to be the case], [these other circumstances show that X is in fact the case]. For ...
10
votes
5answers
149k views

Punctuation for the phrase “including but not limited to”

This is my first question on this stack exchange. I'm hoping this kind of question is welcome here, and excuse my ignorance, but my confusion evident below is exactly why I am a Software Engineer ...
9
votes
4answers
70k views

Should there be a comma before “though” when it occurs at the end of a sentence?

Consider I don't know how outdated it is though. Should there be a comma before though, as in the following? I don't know how outdated it is, though.
9
votes
3answers
42k 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?
9
votes
4answers
5k views

When should you use a semicolon *with* a conjunction?

I know the basics of a semicolon—at least I think I do. Aside from delimiting verbose lists, it separates independent clauses of a sentence. So, if you have two independent clauses in a sentence, ...
9
votes
5answers
89k 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.
9
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Should the beginner's program read “Hello, World”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter? I was thinking today about comma usage and the typical first output for a beginning programmer. In the ...
8
votes
4answers
476 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

Use of comma separating two adjectives

If I had the phrase two blond haired, blue eyed people would the comma be out of place? should I hyphenate "blond haired" and "blue eyed"?
8
votes
2answers
32k views

When writing large numbers, should a comma be inserted?

I know that it is common to write the number 'ten thousand' as a numeral with a comma delimiting the 10 and the 000 like so: 10, 000 However, I have never seen a comma used for numbers less than ...
8
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
931 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) ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

How to punctuate lists that are nested to three levels?

A basic list is punctuated like this: The park has some bears, deers, and other animals. (bears) (deers) (other animals) When commas appear inside the items of a list, or when lists appear ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Correct comma use with “but” and “that”

Compare these 3 sentences: Both are based on librsync, but above that they behave quite differently. Both are based on librsync, but above that, they behave quite differently. Both are ...
7
votes
5answers
45k views

Comma before “as well as”

Here is the sample sentence: We have carried out works for private individuals and property developers as well as our own building projects." Should there be a comma before as well as in this ...
7
votes
4answers
985 views

Comma and “too”

Why is there a comma in the following comic?
7
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...