Can you, please, consult me. Do we need a comma before a verb in sentences like this?

On the left menu item, select the needed device group.

  • first usage answered at 'In what cases should I use a comma after “please”?' – Edwin Ashworth Nov 24 '15 at 16:39
  • Your first sentence is asking others to ask you for advice. Perhaps, instead, you'd like us to advise you. – Hot Licks Apr 23 '16 at 12:32

You don't need any commas. This is sufficient:

Can you please consult me?

Your second example is correct:

On the left menu item, select the needed device group.

The comma is preferred here (but still, not strictly necessary) to clarify that you're giving directions of what to select from. In fact, it would be better phrased:

From the left menu item, select the needed device group.

I write technical documentation, and this is the style I use.


Technically, you would use a comma to set off a dependent clause (a phrase that would not be a complete sentence by itself), or if you are using an introductory phrase. You have some leeway with comma usage, and could use them as you demonstrate in the firsts sentence, but they are not required. (The sentence, "Please, can you consult me?" WOULD need the comma.) The second sentence is correctly punctuated since the opening phrase in not a complete sentence and must be set off by a comma.

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