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Thread: Comma usage

  1. #1
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    Default Comma usage

    When you end a sentence with words like too, also, however, or yet, should the words be preceded by a comma?

    Also, should names, as an address, at the end of a sentence, be preceded by a comma.

    What about words like then, and then, otherwise, however, in the middle of a sentence? Should they be preceded and followed by a comma?


    I always stumble with these and would love a definintive rule and answer. I have tried looking at the rules in my St. Martin's handbook, and it is, simply, not clear to me. Even in the previous sentence, I was not sure whether or not the commas before and after simply were needed.

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    Default Comma usage

    Looking around, more, Adriana . . .
    or
    Looking around more, Adriana . . .

    Which comma usage is correct?

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    Default Re: Comma usage

    Hi denamarie

    Looking around, more, Adriana . . . [greater emphasis on looking around or maybe her third time looking around]

    Looking around more, Adriana . . . [second time looking around]



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    Default Re: Comma usage

    Hi denamarie

    Could you give us a few examples? Language is fluid, so one rule doesn't necessarily fit all sentences.


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    Default Re: Comma usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hi denamarie

    Looking around, more, Adriana . . . [greater emphasis on looking around or maybe her third time looking around]

    Looking around more, Adriana . . . [second time looking around]


    Thanks for all of your help tonight, Soup.

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    Default Re: Comma usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hi denamarie

    Could you give us a few examples? Language is fluid, so one rule doesn't necessarily fit all sentences.

    I will wait a little longer yet.

    He went to the tanning salon and then to the gym.

    I would like to go however.

    He went to the bakery too.
    I would not go otherwise.


    Come with me Jason.

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    Default Re: Comma usage

    Hi denamarie

    Punctuate for meaning. For example:

    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

    The rule of thumb with commas is "less is more". Only use them to clarify meaning or to give the reader breaks by demarcating adverbs, subordinate clauses, and any other words or phrases that will help the reader navigate her/his way through the text with ease.

    Given examples [1] through [5] below, you could either add a comma or leave it out. The meaning won't change with or without the comma. (Keep in mind, though, that some readers will expect to see a comma because they've seen it there before in other writings).

    [1] I will wait a little longer yet.
    [2] He went to the tanning salon and then to the gym.
    [3] I would like to go however.
    [4] He went to the bakery too.
    [5] I would not go otherwise.

    Add a comma in example [5] only if you want to show that Jason wrote the sentence:

    [6] Come with me Jason.
    [7] Come with me, Jason.

    Example [7] is ambiguous. It could mean "Jason, come with me" or "Come with me, [signed] Jason", wherein the comma could mean 'said by' (Jason). Writers try to reduce the ambiguity by either putting the name first, like this, Jason, [you need to] come with me OR by leaving the comma out, Come with me Jason , which means the same as Jason, come with me.




    Here are the answers to the questions you emailed me:
    Ex: Thanks in advance and, also, for all your help last night.

    Ex: By the way, should ...
    Again, you needn't use commas as I have above, but readers do in fact expect them, and plus it's a good rule of thumb to know how to do something correctly first before deciding not to do it. In other words, learn how to use commas, and then learn how to leave them out.

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    Default Re: Comma usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hi denamarie

    Punctuate for meaning. For example:

    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

    The rule of thumb with commas is "less is more". Only use them to clarify meaning or to give the reader breaks by demarcating adverbs, subordinate clauses, and any other words or phrases that will help the reader navigate her/his way through the text with ease.

    Given examples [1] through [5] below, you could either add a comma or leave it out. The meaning won't change with or without the comma. (Keep in mind, though, that some readers will expect to see a comma because they've seen it there before in other writings).

    [1] I will wait a little longer yet.
    [2] He went to the tanning salon and then to the gym.
    [3] I would like to go however.
    [4] He went to the bakery too.
    [5] I would not go otherwise.

    Add a comma in example [5] only if you want to show that Jason wrote the sentence:

    [6] Come with me Jason.
    [7] Come with me, Jason.

    Example [7] is ambiguous. It could mean "Jason, come with me" or "Come with me, [signed] Jason", wherein the comma could mean 'said by' (Jason). Writers try to reduce the ambiguity by either putting the name first, like this, Jason, [you need to] come with me OR by leaving the comma out, Come with me Jason , which means the same as Jason, come with me.





    Here are the answers to the questions you emailed me:
    Ex: Thanks in advance and, also, for all your help last night.
    Ex: By the way, should ...
    Again, you needn't use commas as I have above, but readers do in fact expect them, and plus it's a good rule of thumb to know how to do something correctly first before deciding not to do it. In other words, learn how to use commas, and then learn how to leave them out.
    Soup, you have explained this wonderfully well. Thank you so very much!

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