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    #1

    With or without a comma.

    Hi, everyone!

    In the middle of umpteen words and sentences I've got confused. So can you clarify whether or not it is mandatory to place a comma before a time clause:

    "I went to the movies, last week."

    Or whether it can be discarded, as in:

    "I went to the movies last week."

    Thanking you and waiting for an opinion on this,
    Mannysteps.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: With or without a comma.

    I would write this sentence without a comma.

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    #3

    Re: With or without a comma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mannysteps View Post
    Hi, everyone!

    In the middle of umpteen words and sentences I've got confused. So can you clarify whether or not it is mandatory to place a comma before a time clause:

    "I went to the movies, last week."

    Or whether it can be discarded, as in:

    "I went to the movies last week."

    Thanking you and waiting for an opinion on this,
    Mannysteps.


    NOT A TEACHER


    IMHO:

    (1) Most Americans would probably write it without a comma:

    I went to the movies last week.

    If you wanted to be dramatic and delay the time, you could

    write: I went to the movies -- last week (not yesterday).

    (2) You could also put it at the front:

    Last week I went to the movies.

    Some old-fashioned people such as I prefer a comma:

    Last week, I went to the movies. (Why? Because when it

    is at the front, some people naturally pause after "week.")


    ***

    I watched TV after I ate dinner.

    After I ate dinner, I watched TV.

    Many (most?) American teachers require a comma if it comes

    at the front.

    Why the difference between "last week" and "After I ate dinner"?

    Because "last week" is only a noun (phrase), so if you do not

    put a comma in "Last week I went to a movie," no big deal!!


    But if you do not put the comma in "After I ate, I watched TV," then

    that IS a big deal. An American teacher would mark you down.

    "After I ate" is a clause (something like a sentence), so the "rule" is

    is to put a comma if a clause comes at the beginning:

    Although I have studied Chinese for 50 years, I still cannot speak it.

    I still cannot speak it although I have studied Chinese for 50 years.



    Respectfully yours,


    James


    P.S. That information is true. I still can't speak it. All I can do is

    read it a little bit -- with a good dictionary!

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    #4

    Re: With or without a comma.

    Thank you. You were both most elucidating. An extra thanks to James for going into so much detail.

    Regards,
    Mannysteps

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