I've noticed that in all sentences I come across which start with an indication of time, there is always a comma after before the sentence is continued. For example: When I was five, I bought my first bike. In 1910, John Smith was born. Over the years, I grew to hate celery.

Why is this? Why must there be a comma when, saying the sentences out loud, there is no indication of a pause?

  • 1
    When I say these sentences aloud, I do pause. Sep 9, 2015 at 21:49
  • @James Webster I do as well, a comma seems appropriate to me.
    – altaltpow
    Sep 9, 2015 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


You are starting the sentence with an introduction. An indication of time is only one form of introduction.

At 4 o'clock, I'll jump in the river.

As I know the ground, I'll go first.

Under the water, you can see the swans' legs going hell for leather.

The fancy term for them adverbial clauses or phrases.

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