He jumped down, creating a cloud of dust.

I think it's just because the sentence is so short that it looks odd with a comma, but grammatically speaking, that comma is necessary, right?

  • 1
    yes fasdf15char
    – Newb
    Jan 10, 2014 at 7:38
  • 1
    Say the sentence out loud, do you pause in the middle of the sentence, if so, where? Personally, I would read the sentence as "He jumped down *pause* creating a cloud of dust", so I would include a comma right there.
    – IQAndreas
    Jan 10, 2014 at 7:52
  • Grammatically speaking, no punctuation is necessary at all. No capitalization, either. And you could use the Cyrillic alphabet, or Katakana.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jan 10, 2014 at 9:41

4 Answers 4


You need the comma, as you are combining an independent clause with a participial clause.

"creating a cloud of dust" is a present participle phrase describing a noun (or in this case, a pronoun).


Stylistically, you would need a comma in there. But grammatically the sentence would be fine. Even in style, a comma in that kind of sentence is something optional.


Yes; a comma is required as you have placed it in that sentence.


"creating a cloud of dust" is a subordinate clause so you need that comma in order to give the grammatical error free sense.

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