The scientists are not positive that all black butterflies live in South America, so they are being cautious. A subreddit for questions and discussions about grammar, language, style, conventions[,] and punctuation. Note that some style guides would not add the comma after the word “eggs”. The length of a sentence does not determine whether you need a comma. For an if statement, there is no real point in putting something into a comma expression rather than outside. One of the calls for a plural noun, while the calls for singular. Two clauses that typically need a comma between them are an independent clause (a clause that could be its own stand-alone sentence) and a dependent clause, which cannot stand alone. The comma has inspired not only reams of writing but also ongoing feuds between grammarians. It also has an interactive exercise. If it really makes you uncomfortable, you could change it to one of the greatest bands, if not the greatest band, of all time. “Radiohead is one of the great, if not the greatest, bands of all time.” <-- with 2nd comma As for the word too, it all depends on the emphasis you are looking for. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. MYTH: You should add a comma wherever you pause. This is so that the IF statement will treat the string as a single item and not … A comma only needs to appear before the word. Should I use a comma before "not"? When not starts a contrasting phrase then you should proceed it with a comma. if you are using it to mark a shift of thought in the middle of a sentence like in the example:  But it’s not needed at the end of the sentence: Brackets vs. Parentheses: How to Use Them. No, a comma is not required here: Only if the framework is intuitive can we proceed with formalizing and exploring its variations. 15. When it comes to using the word so, the rule of thumb is that if it begins your independent clause, there should be a comma. 53.8k 28 28 gold badges 147 147 silver badges 202 202 bronze badges. This page has examples explaining when to use commas before 'which' and 'who' and when to omit commas. I think OP is having a problem with the lack of parallelism in the phrase. We use commas inside sentences. is a dependent clause, because it cannot be its own sentence. Fun fact: the conjunctions even though, whereas, though, and although do take a comma when they are part of a dependent adverbial clause that follows an independent clause. An easy way to remember all seven is by using the acronym FANBOYS. Do not use a comma before 'which' if you could replace your 'which' with 'that.' However, this usage is so numerous that it is not incorrect. Commas with Conditional Sentences - Writing English. How Do You Spell Chanukah (Or Is It Hanukkah)? You can use comma in if sentences if the 'if' clause comes first. The only time such pairs should get a comma is if both parts contain independent clauses—Not only was Rico confused, but he was also excited. Green Tea; 1 2. For example, you would not need to use a comma after your opening conjunction in the sentence below, because the comma after the word and would be the only one in the sentence: However, you would need to use one after the opening conjunction in the sentence below, because the sentence calls for a series of commas: How do you use commas when it comes to words like so and too (or any other non-conjunctions that are joining clauses mid-sentence)? Relative pronouns are often used to join sentences. It’s most easily explained by example: “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer…” (Shakespeare: Richard III, in case you don’t recognise it.) Rule 5: Use a comma after a [dependent clause] preceding an [independent clause]. These contrasting elements often start with "not": e.g. Often, if not phrases are used to connect strong and weak descriptors: It can be made grammatical by inserting the second comma (and "the great/greatest"), and perhaps by also moving the noun "bands" forward. Do you want people to pause slightly when reading the phrase? Where you pause or breathe in a sentence does not reliably indicate where a comma belongs. You’ve probably heard a lot of things about the comma and may have questions about when to use a comma. By Geraldine Woods . When the prepositional introductory phrase is short (less than 3-4 word), the comma can be omitted, but it is not wrong to use it. “Radiohead is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, bands of all time.” <-- with 2nd comma, 4.) Still unsure if you should use a comma? If so, add a comma like we did in this example: Did you use a relative pronoun like who, whom, which, what (or one of their compounds -ever or -soever) with a clause that is essential for identification? Commas have no meaning, but they help us to see the structure and therefore the meaning of the sentence. Plus, it looks so much tidier. Do not put a space before a comma. A comma in writing is like a pause inside a sentence when speaking. Below, you’ll find guidance for the trickiest comma questions. Harry Joy Harry Joy. Beware of popular myths of comma usage: MYTH: Long sentences need a comma. Where Does The Name “Winter” Come From? Commas separate parts of a sentence into logical elements. “Radiohead is one of the great, if not the greatest, bands of all time.” <-- with 2nd comma, 2.) And, if you are using a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence (like we just did), you should only put a comma after it if it is going to be the first in a series of commas. For example: I first saw him in Paris, where I lived in the early sixties. Rule 2. If comma usage is one of the banes of your writing existence, then this handout is for you. It’s almost always optional to put a comma before and in a list.. Comma Before And in Lists. That means that if the only comma your sentence is going to have is the one you put in after the initial conjunction, you should remove it. For example: This is where I live. share | follow | answered Dec 14 '11 at 9:53. If so, add a comma like we did in this example: ) with a clause that is essential for identification? This trick works because 'which' without a comma is used to head a defining clause, just like 'that.' Last but not least, use a comma to separate three or more items. This cheat sheet will help explain exactly when commas and conjunctions should be used together, and why it matters (without—we hope—putting you into a comma-induced coma). 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