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If I end a sentence with the word again, I do not usually need a comma such as in the following example:

"Here we go again."

However, I have been unable to find information about using the word again as part of a question. Should I be using a comma in the following question or not?

"What is the definition of irony, again?"

Is the word again considered a dependent clause or something else?

  • In your example, "again" modifies an understood verb phrase, "give the definition of irony". The fact that something is left implicit doesn't change the part of speech. – Greg Lee Sep 10 '17 at 4:02
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In the two examples you provide, the adverb "again" servers two different functions.

In "here we go again" it is modifying the verb "go". There should not be a comma between a verb and its adverb, regardless of whether it's at the end of the sentence or not. Here are some more examples:

Please come again.

I will do it again.

Trying again was not a good idea.

In "What is the definition of irony, again?", the word again is modifying the independent clause "what is the definition of irony". It is making a conceptual connection between this sentence and a previous one. It's not a separate clause, but a type of conjunction (a conjunctive adverb). It needs to be preceded or offset by commas, regardless of where it is in the sentence. Here are more examples:

Again, the definition of irony is [...].

Why is it, again, that you're looking up this word?

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