When I'm addressing someone in writing, such as on a forum or other public space, will I need a comma(s) before/after/surrounding their name?

For example:

Thanks for that information Greg we're here to help.


1 Answer 1


According to the Chicago Manual of Style’s FAQ on commas, a comma should be used before a name, title or term of endearment when that person is directly addressed:

[I]n formal writing, direct address takes a comma before the person’s name. One could argue, however, that e-mails aren’t formal, and that there’s little harm in streamlining for the sake of efficiency

If the name is not the last word in the sentence then a comma should follow it also.

Thus, if your example was retained as a single sentence it would be:

Thanks for that information, Greg, we're here to help.

Having said that, this would read more smoothly if expressed as two sentences:

Thanks for that information, Greg. We're here to help.

  • Here's a reference to consider adding to your answer: CMoS online "in formal writing, direct address takes a comma before the person’s name" (search for "Hi, Mom" on the page and click its 'Answer>>' link).
    – Lawrence
    Dec 9, 2017 at 11:19
  • With a period it reads less comma-splicy :)
    – Laurel
    Dec 10, 2017 at 4:42
  • 1
    Hi, the I edited the quote from Chicago directly into your answer, as SE prefers answers stand alone and cite material from links, in case an important link stops working one day. But of course it is your answer, so feel free to roll back or otherwise re-edit.
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 10, 2017 at 11:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.