For example:

Well, that was his answer anyways.


However, the answer was wrong.

  • 2
    They're still called "commas"?
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jun 3 '11 at 18:43
  • Im not talking specifically about just the comma; I mean the use case. For example a word with an apostrophe showing possession is called a possessive while one showing combined words such as they're are called contractions. This has no word specifically to talk about the word(s) before a sentence that requires a comma after? Jun 3 '11 at 18:50
  • Well technically it is a sentence that opens with a conjunctive adverb. No sure if it has a specialize name.
    – Ivan P
    Jun 3 '11 at 18:57
  • @Oscar: That depends on the word themselves, they don't belong all to the same category. Usually they are adverbs, though, but not necessarily.
    – Alenanno
    Jun 3 '11 at 18:58
  • @Oscar Godson Oh, you mean the whole piece, like a "clause" or something. I'm sure someone here knows that.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jun 3 '11 at 19:00

I would call this a sentence adverb:

NOAD definition:

sentence adverb noun Grammar an adverb or adverbial phrase that expresses a writer's or speaker's attitude to the content of the sentence in which it occurs (such as frankly, obviously), or places the sentence in a particular context (such as technically, politically).

Usage note from About.com:

Unlike an ordinary adverb — which is conventionally defined as a word that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb — a sentence adverb modifies a sentence as a whole or a clause within a sentence.

Dozens of words can be used as sentence adverbs, among them actually, apparently, basically, briefly, certainly, clearly, conceivably, confidentially, curiously, evidently, fortunately, hopefully, however, ideally, incidentally, indeed, interestingly, ironically, naturally, predictably, presumably, regrettably, seriously, strangely, surprisingly, thankfully, theoretically, therefore, truthfully, ultimately, and wisely.

Well may well be used as a sentence adverb as well. Or it could be construed as an exclamation.


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