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  1. Ferdie11's Avatar
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    #1

    Come back and pay for that please.

    Dear All,

    Don't we need to use a comma between that and please in this sentence:

    Come back and pay for that please.


    Thanks in advance.


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    #2

    Re: Come back and pay for that please.

    Yes.

    If "Please" is the first word, NO comma is required.


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    #3

    Re: Come back and pay for that please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie11 View Post
    Dear All,

    Don't we need to use a comma between that and please in this sentence:

    Come back and pay for that please.


    Thanks in advance.
    Yes, there should be a comma there. If you read real writing in English (as opposed to book writing or edited writing) by native speakers, you'll find many people are not always attentive to punctuation.

    I would use a comma before and after "please". It's an adverb, and it's a kind of thought group. One could speak fast and it wouldn't seem like a thought group, but at times when one is speaking more slowly, it's quite natural for there to be a slight pause before and after "please", and this is what the commas are for - for that slight pause.

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    #4

    Re: Come back and pay for that please.

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    it's quite natural for there to be a slight pause before and after "please", and this is what the commas are for - for that slight pause.
    I hesistate to bring this up, but what the heck!

    I don't recall his exact words, but a grammarian I am familiar with has made the comment to the effect that commas and pauses are not related.
    I am not sure I entirely agree with him, but in a sentence like 'I like apples, oranges, and grapes.' he is right. Even in my first two sentences here, he may be right. Even if one chooses to pause, I assume he would say that the commas are not primarily there to indicate pauses.

    In "Come back and pay for that(,) please.", one could choose to pause or not. If one wanted to emphasize "please", a comma would do that by setting it apart. And a pause while speaking would likewise emphasize "please".

    I am interested in comments.


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    #5

    Re: Come back and pay for that please.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I hesistate to bring this up, but what the heck!

    I don't recall his exact words, but a grammarian I am familiar with has made the comment to the effect that commas and pauses are not related.
    I am not sure I entirely agree with him, but in a sentence like 'I like apples, oranges, and grapes.' he is right. Even in my first two sentences here, he may be right. Even if one chooses to pause, I assume he would say that the commas are not primarily there to indicate pauses.

    In 'Come back and pay for that(,) please.', one could choose to pause or not. If one wanted to emphasize "please", a comma would do that by setting it apart. And a pause while speaking would likewise emphasize "please".

    I am interested in comments.
    Commas and pauses are in fact related. It does not mean that we always use commas as a guide to when we will pause. However, it is possible to see commas as natural places to pause ever so slightly. Punctuation can be used as a way to mark thought groups. Thought groups are important to teach ELLs where they can pause for a breath in a way that sounds natural. Breaking up one's speech - pausing ever so slightly for a breath -in expected places contributes to intelligibility.

    So I disagree with this grammarian. The expected places are those places which we may understand to be the last word in a thought group, which once again is often marked by punctuation.
    Last edited by PROESL; 14-Sep-2009 at 14:28.


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    #6

    Re: Come back and pay for that please.

    In "Come back and pay for that(,) please.", one could choose to pause or not.
    I know.


    If one wanted to emphasize "please", a comma would do that by setting it apart. And a pause while speaking would likewise emphasize "please".
    That would not necessarily add emphasis. Slight pauses do not add emphasis. Though in order to use emphatic stress, one usually pauses ever so slightly.

    I guess we have to understand what we mean by "pause" here. When I say "pause" in speaking of punctuation as it relates to thought groups and pronunciation, I mean a pause that is ever so slight - enough to take a breath so that one does not talk in a neverending stream, which would then cause one to pause in places that seem to sound strange to native speakers of English.


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    #7

    Smile Re: Come back and pay for that please.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I am not sure I entirely agree with him, but in a sentence like 'I like apples, oranges, and grapes.' he is right. Even in my first two sentences here, he may be right. Even if one chooses to pause, I assume he would say that the commas are not primarily there to indicate pauses.
    You said "primarily". I didn't.

    I never said commas primarily indicate a pause.

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    #8

    Re: Come back and pay for that please.

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    You said "primarily". I didn't.

    I never said commas primarily indicate a pause.
    Yes, I used "primarily" in the expectation of what the grammarian's response might be.
    But speaking of that, you said "this is what the commas are for - for that slight pause." But you may have only been referring to that particular sentence.

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