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Comma after introductory phrases

Agile software development often encourages people to write up user stories using a given formula. The formula is: "As a User I want to something so that reason for something". Some example of this formula put a comma after "As a User", some do not.

So which is correct and why:

"As a Visitor I want to view your products so that I can buy something"


"As a Visitor, I want to view your products so that I can buy something"

  • mhoroszowski, I think you've asked a good question, but there is already a good answer to it by kiamlaluno in question #52091. In your examples I'd use a comma after User or Visitor as suggested there. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Jun 4 '12 at 19:29

I vote for using the comma. As a Visitor is an introductory clause, and as such I think it needs to be followed by a comma. See this explanation (point #2):

Use commas after introductory a) clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that come before the main clause.

a. Common starter words for introductory clauses that should be followed by a comma include after, although, as, because, if, since, when, while.

While I was eating, the cat scratched at the door.

Because her alarm clock was broken, she was late for class.

If you are ill, you ought to see a doctor.

When the snow stops falling, we'll shovel the driveway.

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  • 2
    You certainly wouldn't want anyone to read it like this: "While I was eating the cat...", which is why your answer is correct. – Evik James Jun 4 '12 at 19:37

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