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Should we use comma after "after a while"? For example,

After a while she stopped thinking about him.

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As it's an inversion of 'She stopped thinking about him after a while', the comma would help make the sense crystal clear. Compare a more ambiguous sentence:

She stopped thinking about him after the event.
If you invert it, it becomes less clear:
After the event she stopped thinking about him. Is that ...
After the event, she stopped thinking about him.
or...
After the event, she stopped, thinking about him.

Commas clarify meaning, particularly in sentences where the standard order is inverted.

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  • Fine explanation and great examples, and none of the 'the rules say' rhubarb. Though as you imply, a comma is not really necessary with OP's sentence. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 8 '14 at 17:19
  • @EdwinAshworth - Agreed Edwin, there's no glaring need for the comma apart from adding clarity. Thanks. – Leon Conrad Feb 8 '14 at 17:24

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