Comma After “Or”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, Uncategorized 4 Comments

When an attorney puts two questions (often unrelated) together with an or, you have two choices for punctuation.

Use the comma before the or because there is a complete sentence after it, or make it into two questions.

 
…Are you just living at home, or are you employed?
…Are you just living at home? Or are you employed?
Happy punctuating!
Margie

Comments 4

  1. Gosh, Margie, this hardly ever happens, but so far I agree with everything I’ve read on your blog! I was a court reporter for 7 years, a certified medical transcriptionist for about 20, and have a BA in English, so my understanding of the written/spoken word and the punctuation necessary to make meanings clear is kind of “quirky” by most standards. I appreciate finding a similar stickler for the details.

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  2. Hello. Can one use a comma after “or” when they are using another word for something? The following is an example.

    “Go join the group, or, assembly.”

    This could be another way of saying “rather” or “better” since it isn’t offering a comparison, but an alternative.

    “Go join the group, rather, the assembly.”

    This is something I’ve been unsure about for a while now and I don’t trust Grammarly. Your help is appreciated! Thank you!

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      Jojo,

      No, a single comma after “or” is never correct. Neither is it correct after “rather” or “better” in this construction.

      Margie

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