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    • Join Date: Apr 2010
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    #1

    Comma before name rule

    Hi,
    I had a debate with my brother on whether or not I should use a comma when addressing a person by name as in the example below.

    Thanks for coming to the party, Gordon.

    Come here, Gordon.


    Is this correct usage of the comma?

    Thanks

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Comma before name rule

    Quote Originally Posted by thisguyal View Post
    Hi,
    I had a debate with my brother on whether or not I should use a comma when addressing a person by name as in the example below.

    Thanks for coming to the party, Gordon.

    Come here, Gordon.


    Is this correct usage of the comma?

    Thanks
    I wouldn't use a comma in those examples.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Comma before name rule

    I would definitely use a comma here.
    I think most authors do; here are some examples from five novels I just chose at random:

    "It's your right too, John." (John Steinbeck)
    "Sit down, Alvarito." (Ernest Hemingway)
    "Do you understand me, Oscar?" (Peter Carey)
    "Do what you like with them, Clarissa." (Virginia Woolf)
    "I have popcorn, David." (Stephen King)

    I wouldn't wish to argue with people of this calibre.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Comma before name rule

    Then there's two of my favorite lines:
    Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
    I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Comma before name rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I would definitely use a comma here.
    I think most authors do; here are some examples from five novels I just chose at random:

    "It's your right too, John." (John Steinbeck)
    "Sit down, Alvarito." (Ernest Hemingway)
    "Do you understand me, Oscar?" (Peter Carey)
    "Do what you like with them, Clarissa." (Virginia Woolf)
    "I have popcorn, David." (Stephen King)

    I wouldn't wish to argue with people of this calibre.
    I would hesitate to do so as well, but when spoken it is an unnatural pause.


    • Join Date: Apr 2010
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    #6

    Re: Comma before name rule

    Thanks for the feedback, guys. It looks like I was right :)

    Alan

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    #7

    Re: Comma before name rule

    Quote Originally Posted by thisguyal View Post
    Hi,
    I had a debate with my brother on whether or not I should use a comma when addressing a person by name as in the example below.

    Thanks for coming to the party, Gordon.

    Come here, Gordon.


    Is this correct usage of the comma?

    Thanks
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Good afternoon, thisguyal:

    (1) Some of the top teachers at this site have answered you with outstanding replies.

    (2) But I just wanted to make sure that you understood WHY the comma is standard in written English.

    (3) The technical term is "direct address."

    (a) It means calling someone by his/her name.

    (b) Teachers expect you to use a comma because it is extra and unnecessary information.

    (i) As you know, commas are used to indicate that the words are not an essential part of the sentence and can be erased without harming the basic meaning of the sentence.

    (a) Basic sentence: Thanks for coming to the party.

    Gordon, thanks for coming to the party.

    Thanks, Gordon, for coming to the party.

    Thanks for coming to the party, Gordon.

    Have a nice day, thisguyal!


    • Join Date: Apr 2010
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    #8

    Re: Comma before name rule

    Thanks so much for the extra clarification, TheParser!

    Alan

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    #9

    Re: Comma before name rule

    Quote Originally Posted by thisguyal View Post
    Thanks so much for the extra clarification, TheParser!

    Alan
    Thank you, Alan, for your kind note. Alan, I really appreciated it. Have a nice day, Alan.

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