Does the following sentence structure require comma?

S(pronoun) V(thought|wished|felt|knew|…) S V.

As in:

“He wished it would go away.”

“I feel it is all so wrong.”

“He thought it was hilarious.”

Or should it be:

“He wished, it would go away.”

“I feel, it is all so wrong.”

“He thought, it was hilarious.”

Or is it a matter of style?


  • 2
    The first set is correct. No, it is not a matter of style! It doesn't make sense with commas - the second part of the sentence is essential to the sentence. One way of (sometimes) telling whether a comma would be appropriate is, if you were speaking the words, would you pause briefly at that point. Also, could you omit the part after the comma? In this case the answer to both those is "No." (Those are not definitive tests, but can help for guidance.) – TrevorD Jun 8 '16 at 19:30

The first set is correct as written.
The question of commas becomes necessary with direct quotation as opposed to indirect quotation.

Indirect: He thought [that (implied)] it was hilarious. (No commas are called for.)

Direct: He thought, "It was hilarious."


Typically commas indicate a pause in a sentence indicating another thought is starting.

None of these are required. I would only tend to use commas in a case where you really wish to indicate an idea break. Here's an example.

In short be careful with commas in these cases.

Lack—or overuse—of punctuation (especially commas) can alter the meaning and/or the result of ambiguity.

Ambiguous sentences are hard to understand and can be misinterpreted, thus potentially altering the meaning of the sentence in a drastic way.

Here's an example of a sentence that would be ambiguous without the use of a comma or two.

First the sentence without commas.

Rachael finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.

Without commas it seems she is cooking her family and her dog and this inspires her.

Let's add commas in here.

Rachael finds inspiration in cooking, her family, and her dog.

Now we can see the separation of ideas making it clear that she finds inspiration in 3 items. in cooking her family and her dog

So commas make a sentence clearer when ideas might blend together. They help you have the reader pause when reading the sentence giving the sentence a clear understanding of what is meant.

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