The Word “Please”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma Leave a Comment

The word please takes punctuation according to where it is in relation to what it modifies.

At the beginning of what it modifies, it takes no punctuation after it.

…Please put that notice into the bulletin.
…Please state your name for the record.

At the end of what it modifies, it takes a comma before it.

…Put that notice into the bulletin, please.
…State your name for the record, please.

In the middle of what it modifies, it generally takes commas around it.

…Put that notice, please, into the bulletin.
…State your name, please, for the record.

This comma is necessary because please tends to be interruptive in the middle.

…Call her, please, to give her the news.
…Send it to me, please, with the attachments included.

Where it gets tricky is where the please is in the middle of a sentence but is really at the beginning of what it modifies. There is no comma after it in this case.

…If you need me, please call this number.
…At the end of that column of numbers, please add your name and number.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

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