0

The president states that, after he read the memo, he felt very disturbed.

Is the first comma necessary?

1

1 Answer 1

0

I believe it is necessary. A good rule of thumb that I like to go by is if I were to remove whatever is between the two commas “, ,” then the sentence will still make sense. Observe:

The president states that he felt very disturbed.

As opposed to your sentence:

The president states that, after reading the memo, he felt very disturbed.

If there was just one comma (since this sentence is shorter in length) it would feel like there is an awkward pause before the description of how the president felt.

2
  • 1
    The comma-separated phrase is known as a "parenthetical".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 21:52
  • 1
    @HotLicks - Thanks for adding! I actually did not know that. I appreciate a good fact for the day. :-) Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 21:55

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