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

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15answers
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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.
35
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7answers
77k 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?
35
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5answers
31k 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 ...
25
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 ...
23
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
5answers
145k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
53k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
20k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
18k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
16
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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 ...
16
votes
2answers
37k 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 ...
15
votes
10answers
2k 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?
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4answers
15k 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: ...
15
votes
5answers
69k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
44k 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 ...
15
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1answer
8k 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?
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votes
3answers
85k 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?
13
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5answers
45k 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?
12
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3answers
66k 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
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5answers
2k 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 ...
12
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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 ...
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
6answers
16k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
845 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
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2answers
24k 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
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4answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
403 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
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4answers
25k 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?
8
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3answers
30k 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
57k 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.
8
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3answers
5k 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
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
3answers
745 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
5answers
2k 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
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4answers
851 views

Comma and “too”

Why is there a comma in the following comic?
7
votes
3answers
40k 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 ...
7
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 ...
7
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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 ...
7
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3answers
711 views

Is a comma needed after “a, b and c”?

Does a sentence like this need a comma where the question mark stands? Sunshine is an app for smartphones, tablets and computers [?] that lets you track and post weather news to blogs, social ...
6
votes
4answers
686 views

Comma splices and fragments in novels

I have noticed that many authors incorporate the use of fragments and comma splices in their novels. Given that this is acceptable practice in a novel, is it acceptable to use a comma splice or a ...
6
votes
4answers
9k views

Either and vs. Either or

(1) In this question on math.SE a question about the meaning of 'either' before a list which ends with 'and'. The meaning of either a, b, c, or d is from this answer sort of clear in that it means ...
6
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3answers
435 views

Should there be a comma in “Tell <name> <other name> says hi.”?

I just wrote to someone, Tell Alivia Wyatt says hi. Am I missing a comma? It seems like there almost has to be one between the names. I find it a strange sentence to punctuate.
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4answers
3k 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, ...
6
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4answers
52k 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.