Is this sentence correctly punctuated, specifically, is there a comma after the words "British Columbia"?

He had only recently relocated to the port city of Victoria, British Columbia after being offered a long-term contract.

Thank you!

2 Answers 2


This is a matter of style, not grammar.

There may be style guides that say you shouldn't add a comma after British Columbia. (Although I'm not aware of any.) If you follow such a guide, then don't add a comma.

Two of the most common style guides, however, give guidance that a comma should be added.

From The Chicago Manual of Style (17th. ed), 6.39:

Commas are used to set off the individual elements in addresses or place-names that are run in to the text . . . In a mailing address, commas should be used sparingly, mainly to set off the separate lines of the address, but also to separate city and state or province (but not the postal code), apartment numbers, and the like.

      Waukegan, Illinois, is not far from the Wisconsin border.
      The plane landed in Kampala, Uganda, that evening.

Some institutional names include place-names set off by commas. When such a name appears in the middle of a clause, a second comma is required to set off the place-name.

      California State University, Northridge, has an enrollment of . . .

However, Chicago 5.69 also says this:

A place-name containing a comma—such as Toronto, Ontario, or New Delhi, India—should generally not be used as an adjective because a second comma may be considered obligatory {we met in a Toronto, Ontario, restaurant}. The comma after Ontario in that sentence is awkward. Compare the readability of a New Delhi, India, marketplace with a New Delhi marketplace or a marketplace in New Delhi, India (substituting a prepositional phrase for the proper adjective).

The latest online (subscription-based) version of the Associated Press Stylebook says this:

PUNCTUATION: Place one comma between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence or indicating a dateline: He was traveling from Nashville, Tennessee, to Austin, Texas, en route to his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She said Cook County, Illinois, was Mayor Daley's stronghold.

But as it's a matter of style, it would not be wrong to omit the comma. However, doing so might give your sentence a nonstandard representation.

Note that, as per Chicago, if you think you should add a comma, but doing so introduces awkwardness in terms of how the sentence is read, then rephrase the sentence in order to avoid that.


Alex K: I disagree with Barmar.

You separate the city from the state with a comma, but when the sentence continues past the state, you MUST add another comma after the state. In your original sentence above, please add a comma right after “British Columbia”.

  • Hi Margaret, What are you thoughts on what Jason had to say?
    – Alex K
    Jan 3, 2019 at 1:04

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.