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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46
votes
4answers
10k views

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 ...
144
votes
16answers
401k views

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.
22
votes
3answers
45k views

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 ...
15
votes
4answers
159k views

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?
27
votes
3answers
28k views

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 ...
29
votes
7answers
76k views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
13
votes
1answer
7k views

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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
107
votes
9answers
245k views

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?
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Comma before “and”

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
19k views

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"?
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Is there a comma needed before quotation?

Sam developed an annual sweepstakes promotion entitled “The Free Gas Punt Return Game”. Do I need a comma after entitled or not?
31
votes
4answers
11k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

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 ...
84
votes
3answers
890k views

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?
21
votes
3answers
291k views

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 ...
42
votes
9answers
178k views

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 ...
22
votes
5answers
132k views

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?
43
votes
5answers
445k views

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 there be a comma or ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Does a comma have to be used before a quotation?

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?
29
votes
4answers
57k views

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: ...
30
votes
2answers
76k views

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 ...
16
votes
2answers
41k views

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 ...
11
votes
3answers
117k views

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?
20
votes
2answers
8k views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

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": ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

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., ...
-2
votes
1answer
10k views

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 ...
37
votes
2answers
197k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
125k views

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?
6
votes
1answer
17k views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
66k views

Should there be a comma after 'and'?

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. ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

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

Is this the correct use of an apostrophe when showing a name and relationship? When was your father, Robert's, wedding? Thanks!
2
votes
3answers
1k views

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, ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

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 ...
31
votes
3answers
218k views

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 ...
31
votes
6answers
112k views

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 ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Meaning of “My friend, who lives in Paris, is a teacher” with and without commas

Can anyone help me understand the difference in meaning between these two sentences? My friend who lives in Paris is a teacher. My friend, who lives in Paris, is a teacher. To me it seems ...
15
votes
6answers
36k views

When should you use a semicolon *with* a conjunction?

I know the basics of a semicolon—at least I think I do. Aside from delimiting verbose lists, it separates independent clauses of a sentence. So, if you have two independent clauses in a sentence, ...
5
votes
7answers
13k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
20k views

Is using a comma as a pause correct?

More often than not, I find myself using a comma as sort of a pause. In most cases, it feels right. But I fear that I overuse commas and put them in places where they are not necessary. Some examples:...
6
votes
3answers
705 views

What is a comma splice?

Is this a comma splice? What makes a sentence a comma splice? Being left at the altar on her wedding day, Pamela became furious.
10
votes
4answers
880 views

Should enclosing commas be treated as parentheses?

I just read the following in Dan Ariely's book Predictably Irrational, [...] Zoe, and the other kids to whom I offered the same deal, was completely blinded by [...] p. 57 To me it would have ...
3
votes
3answers
15k views

Using a comma in a sentence with multiple “and”s

The sentence I'm having trouble with is: Track monetary and material donations and compose gift acknowledgement letters. I am trying to express that I keep track of both monetary and material ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Adjective order: Why is “big” before “beautiful”?

I was reading an English children story to my niece the other day when I came across these phrases said by three different characters: I want a big, beautiful hat! I want a big, ...
76
votes
6answers
128k views

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 ...
36
votes
5answers
271k views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
34k views

How to write a bulleted list? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Question about Capitalization for a Bullet List Periods for bullet point items Should each item be in uppercase or not? I've seen both forms: Yada, yada, yada, such as: ...

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