I know it technically isn't correct, but to me it just looks awkward without it. For example (just reading through a friend's gig review):

The videos were surprisingly hard hitting, although equally I don’t think Muse will ever get to the Rage Against The Machine level of political activism.

I think this could be substituted for 'but', which is why I think it works best with a comma.

However, the phrase 'even though' sounds better without one:

It was incredibly heartwarming to witness even though I wasn’t able to see him myself.

What are some opinions?

I'm bad with commas (a serial abuser of them), and I'm only really starting to learn English punctuation properly!

  • Please include the actual question in the body, not just the title.
    – Kris
    May 30, 2013 at 11:34
  • It's not a cut-and-dried thing -- use comma where it makes a semantic difference, helps disambiguate, or improves readability. (Notice the comma before or here.)
    – Kris
    May 30, 2013 at 11:36
  • Sorry, I will do next time. Jun 7, 2013 at 11:56
  • Can you please elaborate on what you mean by "I know it technically isn't correct"? It's the first time I hear that. Where do you know it from? Please provide an authority saying that (since you know rather than guess it, that should be trivial). Likewise, can you perhaps elaborate what "technically correct" means in the first place? That is not a term I am familiar with. Lastly, commas are punctuation, not grammar. Thank you.
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 27, 2013 at 13:26

2 Answers 2


First, I don't understand the quotation, but I am assuming that "Muse" has some connection with the "hard-hitting" videos.

Personally, I would have put a comma before although: it gives a break in reading; and the part before although could be a stand-alone sentence, and makes sense without the extra clause.

Yes, you could probably use but or even though instead of although - but I don't think that should change the punctuation: all of them should be preceded by a comma for the reasons given about. Changing the actual words used, while still retaining the same meaning, should not (normally) result in a change of punctuation.

Commas serve many purposes. In this particular case (without going into detailed grammatical reasons), they aid the reader in several ways:

  • knowing when they can pause in reading the sentence;
  • in indicating that the writer is about to introduce an additional 'thought' and preparing the reader for that;
  • in indicating that the following clause is not essential to the first clause.

The question is not clear!

But I think that it's not correct to write "but" without a comma. Because this is what the rules said first, and also the comma is considered as a point of relaxation for the reader to take a breath. So it's very important to add a comma before but.

  • 1
    I am sure this is well intentioned, but you really need to take more care with your posts. This is a site about the subtleties of the Emglish language (which are many and deceptive); txt spk is both unhelpful and disrespectful. Dec 26, 2013 at 18:08
  • yes i know that ... and i am sorry if i wrote some thing that make you nerv!! soory!!
    – khalllid
    Dec 26, 2013 at 18:13

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