Do Not Use a Separating Comma…

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Do not use a separating comma after the coordinate conjunctions — and, but, or, nor — nor after the one-syllable conjunctive adverbs — thus, hence, still, then, so, yet. However, don’t forget that a pair of commas can go anywhere.

…And he was not involved in the issue with the report.
…And, Ms. Andrews, he was not involved in the issue with the report.

…But I haven’t seen him in months.
…But, Counsel, I haven’t seen him in months.

…So when did you first realize there was a problem?
…So, in other words, when did you first realize there was a problem?

Happy punctuating!

Margie

Comments 2

  1. In your example with “So” followed by a comma pair, would a single comma at the end of the prepositional phrase also be acceptable?

    So in other words, when did you first realize there was a problem?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi, Amy.

      In this case, no. “In other words” is parenthetical in nature and must always be surrounded.

      Have a good day.

      Margie

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