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  1. Unregistered

    Would I use a comma?

    Hello! I have wondered about this for a while, but have never found an answer to my question, mainly because I never asked for an answer to my question. Actually, I think I may already know the correct answer to my question, but I figured I might as well ask anyway. In the sentence, "First of all, my name is Amanda, but people call me Mandy." Would there be a comma between "all" and "my", or should that comma be deleted? I ask this because I know that introductory words are followed by a comma, however most people do not use the commas with introductory words, and it makes me wonder if the comma is actually necessary. Thank you in advance!

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      • Native Language:
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      • England
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    • Join Date: Feb 2005
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    Re: Would I use a comma?

    Hello Unreg,

    The initial phrase "First of all" acts adverbially on the whole sentence. It is the equivalent of putting a "1" in front of it:

    1. My name is Amanda, but people call me Mandy.

    It is therefore quite helpful to the reader if a comma follows it, to mark it off.

    (In spoken English, you would pause after "all", with a distinctive intonation: this serves the same purpose as the comma in written English.)

    Best wishes,

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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