Patricia. Because I lost the race, I had to give my brother five dollars. In sentence A, there is no comma after well. When I write, I have to send my work to someone who can point out all my grammatical missteps. The climb was steep. Well is an introductory word that a comma should separate from the rest of the sentence. I had a beta reader point that out, and I found arguments for both ways. […] the Editor’s blog, introductory clauses, commas, and when and how they go together. Thanks again. Dependent Clauses Before Independent Clauses. Tags: adverb, commas, introductory elements     Posted in: Beyond the Basics, Grammar & Punctuation. I included information on the uses of italics and quotation marks in Marking Text—Choosing Between Italics and Quotation Marks. I’ve seen recommendations that advise against the use of parentheses in fiction. “Lucy, please pick up your roller skates.”. While commas follow most of these transitions, you can skip the commas with single-word adverbs of time. Beth, if we enclose abbreviations that contain periods inside quotation marks, do the commas go inside after the ending period (as exampled below)? Hi Beth, So maybe it's not only about the words. As always, use commas before and/or after names in direct address. I must be doing something right. Thank you, Beth. Exceptions? However lost she was, we knew she wouldn’t stay that way. Thanks again, Beth, for your most welcome advice. Tommy told me he washed and put away the dishes. You’ll find a handful of articles on comma use for a variety of circumstances. Thanks again! Thanks for that information, Scott. Yes, there is leeway at times, and you can add or omit commas for clarity, effect, and style choice. In particular, books about the African continent arouse my curiosity. For “scare quotes,” when you’re just putting quotation marks around the word(s) to make the word stand out, the rules are the same. In sentence B, the first comma is correct, but the second well shouldn’t be separated from the rest of the sentence because it’s not an introductory word. For the second sentence, the requirement for a comma is not as certain. ~  Do include a comma when the transition word is followed by a dependent clause or a question. Also, she writes about how to show (and punctuate) […]. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and I hope it proves helpful. For AmE, commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks no matter what the situation. Do you put a comma after If, While, Now, Being when the words are the first word in a sentence? They are very helpful to me. A comma between adjectives tells readers that each adjective independently modifies the following noun or pronoun. And yet, as she was quick to remind me, I’d never actually done it. Hi there, You’ve performed a fantastic job. Steffie didn’t want to see a movie or take a walk. In this article we’re going to look at comma use near the beginnings of sentences, after introductory elements. Note: You wouldn’t use a comma when words such as today, tomorrow, yesterday, and now are used as the subject of a sentence. I’m not sure wһy but Ӏ think itts a linking You’re right that quotation marks shouldn’t be used for emphasis—we typically use italics for that. ~  Transition words such as therefore and indeed are often followed by commas, but they don’t have to be. Transitional Words and Phrases—The Writer’s Handbook from the University of Wisconsin Writing Center. As far as I can understand, CMoS says that when we are quoting with “scare quotes”, the comma should be INSIDE that final quote, but even though I’ve been correcting myself, it still looks wrong…. Great post. The rules are different. Using shorthand had a positive impact on my writing because taking dictation taught me to listen and mark all pauses. I think I need a fifth grade intro to grammar book. Edit wisely. It's about putting the words together to touch, to entertain, to move the reader. Or, I write in a stylized fashion that obfuscates my shortcomings. I love your site and your emails. Participles and parenthetical adjectives (and adjectives out of their normal order) are always set off with a comma (or pair of commas) at the beginning of a sentence. Thanks again, Beth. I bet you eventually got used to your boss’s rhythms. Use a comma after a dependent clause at the beginning of a sentence Example: When I went to the beach, I got a sunburn. The rules here are for specific uses of commas only, so take care not to assume they’ll be valid for all uses of commas. Thank you once again for a post that I really needed. Many are conjunctive adverbs. When you use a transitional word to connect two complete sentences, place a semicolon at the end of the first sentence Such quotation marks are used to imply that the words are being used in a way that’s not normal. : Usually, I go there on Sundays. And action. Make sure the sentence beginning with a coordinating conjunction links back to the previous sentence. Shalom, Straight talking and methodical, "Smashing Grammar" (Our Grammar Book, 2019), Read more about the different types of adverbs, Read more about restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, Commas after interjections (yes, no, indeed), Commas before conjunctions (and, or, but). She is the author of more than 50 books, including English Grammar Workbook For Dummies and Research Papers For Dummies. If a comma follows, as in your example, put the comma inside if you’re following AmE rules and outside for BrE. Roy, the term scare quotes often refers to a handful of uses of quotation marks outside the use of quoting someone, not necessarily to emphasize. A few thing! Appositives are nouns or noun phrases that rename the noun. Enter email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email. Well, you may consider moving on to another topic if you have exhausted the creative possibilities of “My Favorite Lightbulb.”. In the next example, the comma after yet in the first sentence seems to be required. Darren, a red-haired recruit, caught the eye of the drill sergeant’s daughter. “For AmE, commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks no matter what the situation.”. (participial phrase), Hands folded in prayer, the priest prayed for the nation. Please make some sentence usually words. Use commas between the clauses when a dependent clause comes before an independent one. Suddenly, she took off after the dog, but Jimmy continued his lecture. The abbreviations “etc.,” “et al.,” “a.m.,” and “p.m.” need to be deleted from the passage and replaced by the fully spelled-out words. When quotes are used on a title of something, like a song, doesn’t the punctuation go outside the quote. Yet he can’t even reach the sink. The rule today that many people get confused about is the rule about putting a comma after a prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence. Read these examples twice, once with the introductory words and once without. issue. May 08 2012 17:08:17. The only punctuation in the 1,700 word story were periods.) a few of the pictures aren’tloading properly. Furthermore, your current girlfriend and your ex both called. If she had known the road ended, she wouldn’t have driven off the cliff. I wrote a column in a newspaper for five years. A red-haired recruit, Darren caught the eyes of the drill sergeant’s daughter. Regards. This is true for other phrases such as oh damn, oh dear, oh my, ah yes, oh well, oh God, and oh yeah. (For BrE this is true for your example. It was in transcribing the text that I had to evaluate whether the comma (or other punctuation) was valid — and I spent many a moment in my Gregg Reference Manual (a secretary’s bible) making sure the boss wasn’t just taking a breath! X, For, it was a mistake right from the start. so… which is really, truly the right way? and I see it the way I typed it enough that I am always second guessing myself…. We use commas for nonessential appositives but not for essential ones. However, we were game to try it. Is your father joining us? Oh boy, I totally messed up that reconciliation. See how the meaning stays the same? Thanks, Beth, for the great advice on using commas. But we already know that there are exceptions. Use an exclamation point when you need to be more emphatic. Therefore you shouldn’t have to pay a dime. come back again. Thank you for this timely article on commas. What you might want to do for practice is to write your own sentences—maybe a list of 4 or 5—that match each rule. You can use them to begin sentences, but they are connectors; make sure you choose the one that makes sense for what you want to say. Put another way, introductory words that appear at the beginning of a sentence are set off from what follows by commas. Because not every adverb at the beginning of a sentence is a sentence adverb, not every adverb at the beginning of a sentence requires a comma. Answer: Sentence C is correct. I just wanted to thank you for all the useful info . And I’m glad this article has some tips you can use. The following sentences are incorrect. Note: No comma between oh and boy when they’re operating as one interjection. Well Ella plays the piano well when she is in the mood. I always cringe when I notice quotes used for emphasis, or the whole thing winds up being unintentionally humorous. B. There is no comma after no in the following sentence: No boys were allowed inside the clubhouse. Let’s look at a few categories of transitional words (there are others). And having to check Gregg’s was obviously a chore that paid off for you today. Interjections—words or phrases used to show emotion—can be followed by a comma or an exclamation point. As in all things, I love your advice best! (I will be purchasing your new book when it’s available in soft cover.) How to Use Commas with Introductory Words and Phrases, Past and Past Participles of Common Irregular English Verbs. In English, the rule is that you must separate words that aren’t part of the sentence but instead comment on the meaning of the sentence. Am I thinking of the same thing as you and the commenter? X, Before and/or After Names in Direct Address. My editor said, “You need to word the sentence well enough to communicate the intended emphasis.” I don’t know if that’s a common practice or not. Non-restrictive clauses do. Yes, you are allowed to chew gum balls during class, but don’t complain to me if you break a tooth. If your character would use hopefully as a sentence adverb in thought or dialogue—Hopefully, the sun wouldn’t set until they reached the cabin—use it. I was told that I could not use quote marks or italics for emphasis. Since Elise knew the answer she raised her hand. I’m not really the grammar Nazi type, (for lack of qualification) but I had always thought quotes implied something said by somebody, one way or another. Sometimes you simply want a less formal or structured feel. Yet don’t assume that just because one of these words comes first in a sentence that a comma automatically follows. Colons, semicolons, and dashes go outside the quotation marks for both BrE and AmE. The dependent clause in this sentence is, “When I went to the beach.” This was the perfect answer! Grammar books don’t seem to offer much in the way of advice on that issue. Still, parentheses stand out. I’m grammar-challenged. Still, you don’t have to.

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