Questions tagged [commas]

The comma is a punctuation character that is placed on the baseline and looks similar to a single quotation mark.

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49 votes
4 answers

How should I punctuate around quotes where the punctuation required by the quote interferes with the punctuation of the sentence?

The American convention in quotations is (typically) to place punctuation inside quoted text. But I always run into situations where the punctuation of the quote interferes with the punctuation of the ...
Robert Cartaino's user avatar
159 votes
16 answers

Should I put a comma before the last item in a list?

Should I put a comma before the last item in a list? I would like crackers, cheese and some soda. I would like crackers, cheese, and some soda.
Chris's user avatar
  • 12.4k
25 votes
3 answers

Comma after introductory words, phrases, clauses: unacceptable, obligatory or optional?

I am no native speaker and always confused about the comma in introductory phrases, in particular in prepositional phrases. Is there any hard rule when a comma must be set? If I make a google search ...
Boris's user avatar
  • 353
9 votes
2 answers

Comma before "and" in compound sentences ... necessary or not?

I read this sentence on an educational website: Now times have changed and you are ready for situations involving forces in two dimensions. Shouldn't there be a comma before and, since the subject ...
The English Chicken's user avatar
31 votes
3 answers

Parentheses vs. double commas vs. dashes to provide additional detail

When do you use commas and when do you use parentheses to provide more detail about something? For example: The suspect, Tom Wilson, is now being charged with murder. The suspect (Tom Wilson) is now ...
Senseful's user avatar
  • 2,259
7 votes
4 answers

Is a comma necessary in "What’s funny, is …"?

In the sentence What’s funny is Cat’s dry humour. Wouldn’t it be better to put a comma after “funny”: What’s funny, is Cat’s dry humour. This question entails a (at the time of writing) heated ...
rubenvb's user avatar
  • 183
13 votes
5 answers

Oxford Comma Conventions

According to the Wikipedia page for the Oxford Comma, "Use of the comma is consistent with conventional practice" and "Use of the comma is inconsistent with conventional practice." Did the Oxford ...
user avatar
31 votes
7 answers

Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter?

Sometimes I see a comma after the proper name: Hello Mr. Black, In order to give you.... But my native language is not English and I think that the comma in this phrase should be placed ...
igor's user avatar
  • 1,297
14 votes
4 answers

In which cases is a comma/period placed inside or outside of parentheses?

Are there cases where a period is placed inside parentheses? In which cases the period (or a comma) should be placed inside the parentheses?
apaderno's user avatar
  • 59.2k
13 votes
1 answer

Is it proper usage to replace a comma in a list with a semi-colon in this situation (see details)?

While writing a proposal at work today I needed to mention a list of things and within that list were multi-part items. It seems like replacing the comma with a semi-colon in this situation would make ...
JohnFx's user avatar
  • 7,464
162 votes
10 answers

Should I always use a comma after "e.g." or "i.e."?

It seems that "e.g." is always followed by a comma but "i.e." is not. Why is that?
evergreen's user avatar
  • 3,315
4 votes
3 answers

Is a comma needed before a quotation?

Sam developed an annual sweepstakes promotion entitled “The Free Gas Punt Return Game”. Do I need a comma after entitled or not?
Sarah's user avatar
  • 41
8 votes
1 answer

Punctuation of direct speech, edge cases

I recently learned that I have developed a consistent, but entirely wrong approach to punctuating direct speech in fiction. I am in the unenviable position of trying to relearn. Previously I wrote ...
Ian's user avatar
  • 248
31 votes
4 answers

Really nice, Mat

I see a lot of people saying things such as Nice work, Nick Or Thanks, Mat Is the comma really needed? I'm not 100% sure because my spelling and grammar is not great, but I think it reads ...
Mat's user avatar
  • 321
8 votes
3 answers

Use of comma separating two adjectives

If I had the phrase two blond haired, blue eyed people would the comma be out of place? should I hyphenate "blond haired" and "blue eyed"?
itdoesntwork's user avatar
105 votes
3 answers

Should I use a comma before "and" or "or"?

Is using a comma then an "and" or an "or" after it proper punctuation? Example: I fell over, and hurt my knee. Should I go, or not?
Nunya's user avatar
  • 1,053
25 votes
5 answers

Placement of comma before quotation mark

What is the rule for comma placement before a quotation mark? When should the comma go before and when should it go after the quotation mark?
jrdioko's user avatar
  • 1,041
22 votes
3 answers

Use of a semicolon before and comma after "however"

Several years ago, a previous boss told me to use a semicolon and comma with the word "however". I've always questioned this and would like to know if the following random sentences are using the ...
Ross Johnston's user avatar
47 votes
5 answers

Should there always be a comma after "therefore","However" etc.?

Should you always type a comma after "therefore","however" etc. in the beginning of a sentence? Also, when these (and similar) words are used in the middle of a sentence, should ...
benregn's user avatar
  • 2,065
4 votes
1 answer

Is vocative comma rule vanishing?

According to some grammars[1][2] and CMS... "Interjections and vocative should be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas". The vocative case [1] is used to indicate direct address (i.e., ...
rdllopes's user avatar
  • 157
44 votes
9 answers

Using a comma before "but"

I was once told by an English professor that a comma should never be used before but in a sentence. For years, I have followed her advice but sometimes I just feel like it just needs to be there. On ...
jon_brockman's user avatar
32 votes
4 answers

Is it appropriate to put a comma before "which"?

On Server Fault, we were discussing this question in chat. There are non-native speakers in the chat and somehow we got on the topic of grammar and proper use of commas. The sentence of interest: ...
MDMarra's user avatar
  • 471
20 votes
2 answers

Hello [Comma?] John,

I have a follow up question to this question: Should you use a comma/period after "Thanks"/"Regards" in email signatures? My question is: when should you add a comma when starting ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 1,052
16 votes
2 answers

How is punctuation used after dashes?

I use em dashes frequently to break up random or ancillary thoughts in my writing. However, I'm uncertain how to deal with punctuation after an em dash when my sentence continues. For example, which ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers

Does a comma have to be used before a quotation? [duplicate]

If before the quote the word "saying" or "said" is used, does a comma always have to be used before it? When does a comma not have to be used?
language hacker's user avatar
33 votes
2 answers

Should you use a comma/period after "Thanks"/"Regards" in email signatures?

Normal practice is to end emails with a Thanks or Regards. My question is should there be a comma or a period or nothing after Thanks/Regards? Thanks, John Doe Or Thanks. John Doe ...
Nikhil Kashyap's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers

Is it mandatory to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction uniting the two independent clauses in a compound sentence?

My friend and I had an argument about whether this sentence required a comma: I understand where you're coming from but I disagree. My friend insisted that there should be a comma before "but": ...
Borror0's user avatar
  • 3,011
5 votes
7 answers

Coordinating conjunction immediately followed by parenthetical — Is a comma needed or not?

William Strunk's Rules of Usage states: If a dependent clause, or an introductory phrase requiring to be set off by a comma, precedes the second independent clause, no comma is needed after the ...
Paul Murray's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer

Ellipsis in complex lists

How is this construction correct? The drawing-room began to look empty: the baccarat was discontinued for lack of a banker; more than one person said goodnight of his own accord, and was suffered to ...
Esteban Soto Montijo's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers

When to use commas in a sentence that starts with "finally", "additionally", etc.?

If I have a sentence that starts with additionally, finally, consequently, etc. do I always have to put a comma after it? Or is there a different rule?
RoflcoptrException's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers

Should there be a comma after 'and'? [duplicate]

This is a bit of a strange question because I know that there should never ever be a comma after 'and.' But what if there's a parenthetical statement/clause-thing right after it? Let me demonstrate. ...
eveline's user avatar
  • 103
24 votes
1 answer

"If" with implicit "then" question: Should a comma be used?

Consider the following phrase: If the fruit is an apple, it should be given to children. Is the comma after apple necessary? Is it optional? Is it wrong?
Michael Goldshteyn's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers

Comma or no comma before "too"?

Consider the following examples: "And it is a bottle, too." "And it is a bottle too." Is there a semantic difference between these two sentences? Or do they mean the same thing, with or without the ...
gablin's user avatar
  • 1,155
10 votes
3 answers

When should one use the comma versus the semicolon, and vice versa?

I cannot understand the difference between the comma and semicolon. Can you please clarify?
chanchal1987's user avatar
  • 1,866
6 votes
3 answers

Comma after address

Here's an example: Chocolate lovers rejoice! Chocolate lovers, rejoice! To my understanding, the first one says that chocolate lovers are rejoicing and in the second one, we are asking the ...
user55938's user avatar
  • 113
6 votes
1 answer

Comma before adverbial participial phrases (reduced adverbial phrases) and participial prepositions

Another tricky comma question that has recently popped up in my line work that I have not been able to resolve to my satisfaction. Apologies it's a bit long, but all parts are related and additional ...
Paul S.'s user avatar
  • 369
3 votes
1 answer

Comma placement for a parenthetical after "and"?

I find myself writing sentences like this often: A. Here's a summary of our discussion, and if needed, more detail can be found at I'm not sure if the commas there look quite ...
Rogare's user avatar
  • 155
1 vote
2 answers

Comma usage with compound sentences {actually compound predicates as per Rob's answer}

Rule 101 of compound sentences is that a coordinate conjunction must be accompanied by a comma most of the time when joining independent clauses, yet I stumble across sentences all that time that seem ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 307
-1 votes
1 answer

Sentence with multiple 'and's: should I use an Oxford comma, and if so, where? [closed]

I have the following sentence: I am a self-starter possessing excellent problem solving ability and outstanding coordination and communication skills. Using the Oxford comma, what is the correct ...
user576510's user avatar
44 votes
2 answers

In what cases should I use a comma after "please"?

As far as I can see from different texts, there seems to be no strict rule about putting comma after "Please" when it is used as an introduction to a request. Am I right? In what cases using comma ...
rem's user avatar
  • 10.3k
40 votes
5 answers

Should I capitalize the starting sentence after a greeting that ends in a comma (e.g. "Hello,")?

Should I open the starting sentence after comma in adressing "Hi," ("Hello,") with capital letter? Hi, Xxxl, Dear Xxx L, let me ... vs. Dear Xxx L, Let me ... In Russian it is ...
Gennady Vanin Геннадий Ванин's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers

When to use a comma before "and"

I often see people on the Internet using a comma before and in many cases (not adversative cases). Is it ok? In my language it is stricly prohibited to use a comma before an and except for adversative ...
Radu Rădeanu's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers

When writing numbers in words, where do commas go?

How do we translate 1210 into words: 1) one thousand, two hundred, and ten 2) one thousand, two hundred and ten or without the commas 3) one thousand two hundred and ten 4) one thousand two ...
Pacerier's user avatar
  • 7,017
3 votes
2 answers

How should I use a possessive apostrophe when a name is between commas? [duplicate]

Is this the correct use of an apostrophe when showing a name and relationship? When was your father, Robert's, wedding? Thanks!
Fijjit's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer

Does the em-dash replace a subordinating comma?

If it were not for em-dash, we would no doubt keep the subordinating comma: "It was only to be expected that Troy should fall — and fall emphatically, its very location effaced and, for millennia, ...
Wiki-o's user avatar
  • 39
2 votes
3 answers

Comma before which

I'm not sure which of the following sentences is correct. Is the comma mandatory, optional or unnecessary? I've googled a bit about this topic, but I got confused. Our mapping contains 2000 words, ...
citronas's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
1 answer

Do I need to use a comma between two adjectives? [closed]

You can also contact me to customize your template, or create a new unique one. Do I need to put a comma between the new and unique adjectives in this sentence? In my native language (if I am not ...
Deka87's user avatar
  • 113
101 votes
6 answers

Should there be a comma after "i.e."? [duplicate]

If I remember correctly from English class, then one should put a comma after "i.e.", i.e., the Latin abbreviation for id est. But lately I've seen the comma after "i.e." dropped in books. So what is ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 1,257
42 votes
6 answers

When do we need to put a comma after "so" at the beginning of a sentence?

I noticed that most of the times when the conjunction "so" is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma: So, this gets published but the fact that it is inaccurate gets ...
Lukman's user avatar
  • 1,244
35 votes
3 answers

Do you need a comma before a subordinating conjunction (like if)?

Are both of the following sentences correct? a: You can call me, if you need me. OR b: You can call if you need me. Note that in a:, the comma is placed before the "if" and is not present in case ...
Ray's user avatar
  • 534

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