How should I write it:

  1. So, basically, we had to pay the fine.
  2. So basically we had to pay the fine.
  3. So, basically we had to pay the fine.
  4. So basically, we had to pay the fine.
  • 2
    Please provide the rest of the sentence – marcellothearcane Aug 23 '19 at 17:09
  • 3
    Punctuate it however you like - it's a stylistic choice. You can have no commas, one, or two. You could even replace at least the first one (maybe the second) with a period or a dash if you want. Even to the extent that "style guides" might address the punctuation of "sentence adverb clauses" like this, your particular example is pretty "casual, slangy", so their advice doesn't necessarily apply to your exact context. – FumbleFingers Aug 23 '19 at 17:24
  • "So, basically, we had to pay the fine." When an adverbial modifier appears in advance of the subject-verb, grammar calls for it to be separated off with commas. When a coordinating subjunctive like "so" is used to introduce a coordinate cause, though, the comma between "so" and an introductory modifier is eliminated (e.g., "We got all the fees waived, so, basically, we had to pay the fine."). However, when that coordinate clause appears as a whole new sentence, grammar calls for that comma to remain. – Benjamin Harman Aug 23 '19 at 17:50

I would say 1 or 4. I believe that 1 is probably more correct, but 4 is more in line with how the sentence is actually spoken.

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