Which is correct?

Well, then ... come on in!

Well then ... come on in!

I have tried searching the phrase "well(,) then" on Google, but both variants come up equally often, it seems. But I'm not sure the examples with comma all correspond to the meaning I'm after, which is "well then = if that is the case, okay" or "well then = ".



is an interjection used to acknowledge a statement or situation [Wiktionary]

For example:

A: Could you wait outside for a bit?

B: But I have class in two minutes.

A: Well (then), come on in.

You don't actually need to use then.

  • . . . and if you do use well then, the comma goes after both words—as you indicated in the last example. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 26 '18 at 15:46

Both are technically correct and convey essentially the same meaning you've already concluded. Personally I wouldn't combine the comma and the ellipsis that way, but that could just be a matter of style.

The only noteworthy difference I see between them is that the first one, being spoken, involves two pauses: "Well (short pause) then (longer pause) come on in!" whereas the second leaves out that first short pause. This could imply that a person saying the first is a little more hesitant in his/her decision to welcome the person in.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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