Monday, April 23, 2007

Grammar: Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them (Part 2 - Missing Comma After Introductory Phrases)

Use a comma after introductory adverb clauses, adverb phrases, and participial phrases. Commas come after introductory adverb clauses, adverb phrases, and participial phrases. A comma here tells your reader that the opening act is through, and the main event is beginning. It’s easy to make this mistake, especially when you’re in a hurry.:

When she came home, she was disappointed to find her husband watching football.
Over the next few days, the case unfolded rapidly.

Exception: The comma can be omitted after a short clause or phrase if there is no danger of misreading. If the sentence includes a short clause or phrase, and there isn’t a way for the reader to be confused by the clause, it’s okay to leave out the comma:

In no time they had the servers up and running.

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