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    #1

    Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    Then, I saw a mouse under my bed.

    I often see a comma after "Then". Is it necessary?

    Thanks.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    If you were telling this as a story out loud, would you pause there?
    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.

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    #3

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    I would. However, where I live, a comma is used in all sentences.

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    #4

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    In that case, use the comma.
    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.

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    #5

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I would. However, where I live, a comma is used in all sentences.
    All sentences? Really?

    I am quite liberal with commas, but I would not use one in your sentence about the mouse.

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    #6

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I would. However, where I live, a comma is used in all sentences.
    Like SoothingDave, I'm pretty liberal with commas too. However, in my opinion, the one in your example sentence is optional. I would expect it to be there if you needed to pause for dramatic effect:

    I heard a strange squeaking noise. I checked the cupboards. I checked the drawers. I looked behind the curtains. I checked all the floorboards. Then, I saw the mouse under the bed! Eek. I ran out of the room as fast as my legs would carry me.

    If there were no requirement for a dramatic pause, I probably wouldn't even start the sentence with "Then", nor would I use the comma.

    I checked the cupboards, the drawers, the curtains and the floorboards and then I saw the mouse under the bed.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    Thanks, emsr, for your clear reply with an amusing example.

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    #8

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    Maybe it's a BrE/AmE thing, since Tan Elaine is the only native BrE speaker to give an opinion so far.
    I agree that sometimes the comma should not be there.

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    #9

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Maybe it's a BrE/AmE thing, since Tan Elaine is the only native BrE speaker to give an opinion so far.
    I agree that sometimes the comma should not be there.
    Thanks, Raymott.

    Could you please elaborate? Do you mean Americans use a comma for such sentences, but the British do not.

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    #10

    Re: Then, I saw a mouse under my bed

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Thanks, Raymott.

    Could you please elaborate? Do you mean Americans use a comma for such sentences, but the British do not.
    No, I was asking you what the native British do.

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