Is a comma necessary before “above”/“below” when these words are used as sentence-terminating adverbs?

Examples with the comma:

Place the item as indicated, above.

A correct example will be presented, below.

Is the comma necessary, optional, or should it be omitted?


It should be omitted - the comma obscures the meaning.

The phases "indicated above" and "presented below" are complete phrases in themselves and should not include a comma.

In fact, with the comma, the sentence seems incomplete, and leaves the reader expecting something like:

Place the item as indicated, above the table [or above something else].

i.e. It has previously been indicated that the item should be placed above the table.

A correct example will be presented, below the diagram [or below something else].

i.e. The example is presented below the diagram.

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  • 1
    In the case of "Place the item as indicated, above" it could very well actually change the meaning! – Andrew Leach Jul 1 '13 at 16:30
  • @AndrewLeach Was your comment written before or after I added the section on the sentence seeming incomplete? – TrevorD Jul 1 '13 at 16:37
  • Before! Exact times are available on Windows systems by hovering over the approximate times. – Andrew Leach Jul 1 '13 at 17:47

I agree that THE comma is not correct in these examples. In my opinion, however, commas would be required in the example "There are times, as above, when commas should be used." In this case the commas replace parenthesis.

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  • The question was specifically about "above/below" being used as sentence-terminating adverbs? – TrevorD Jul 1 '13 at 16:39

I don't think there's a need for a comma in this case. A comma means a pause, which is not required in this case.

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