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All the time I see people replying with "of course I will" or "yes it is!" (to "it's not that good" and not placing a comma after "of course" and "yes". The second case seems even more extreme, as even placing a comma would not help - it would still be a comma splice.

However, if I do place the commas, the sentences become very confusing, as many people would probably read that as "I will, of course" and "it is, yes".

Now, to me it seems that grammatically, there is no option but to leave the commas in place - though, again, this may cause confusion.

Any ideas?

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  • 2
    Basic question: Do you pause anywhere when you say "Of course I don't"?
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 24, 2016 at 12:30
  • 1
    The comma, first and foremost, represents a pause in the spoken language.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 24, 2016 at 17:27
  • 2
    Why do you think there are pauses in speech? The pauses are often as semantically & syntactically significant as the words. There is a difference in meaning between "Let's eat, Grandma" and "Let's eat Grandma".
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 24, 2016 at 17:47
  • 1
    I feel sorry for your grandmother. ("Pause" does not necessarily mean two seconds of dead air, simply an interruption in the flow of the words.)
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 24, 2016 at 18:01
  • 4
    Does this answer your question? Comma usage with "of course"
    – Stuart F
    Jul 13, 2021 at 10:48

1 Answer 1

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It's the old argument between how people actually talk or read text, and how it SHOULD be done. I agree the commas are necessary in academic writing, but leave it out in informal for better readability.

4
  • So, if I write academic stuff, commas should be present? The thing is: I never ever seen a person place a comma there, which is what the problem is.
    – Max
    May 24, 2016 at 22:23
  • 5
    I would say that it's uncommon to see those types of phrases in academic or formal writing. However, for grammar purposes, the commas are necessary. Another option could be to switch the phrase so that it may be "I will, of course" to make it easier to read.
    – timthebomb
    May 24, 2016 at 22:27
  • 1
    Commas adversely effect readability?
    – Kris
    Jun 24, 2016 at 7:00
  • 3
    "Are you an idiot?" "Of course, I'm not." -- do you see the problem with that?
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 24, 2016 at 17:29

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