Commas after introductory phrases

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Scott
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Commas after introductory phrases

Post by Scott » 10 Jan 2019, 11:58

Is the following grammatically incorrect:

"In part one of the text, things happen quickly."

It seems different style guides do agree that if an introductory clause is not short, then a comma is required.

But they disagree on what qualifies as short. Namely, a few seem to arbitrarily state that it is only short if it is 4 words or less. Others seem to leave it more vague or give specific examples of exceptions with more than 4 words as "short".

Sources:
https://style.mla.org/commas-introductory-phrases/
https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writ ... tions.html
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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Jan 2019, 12:59

That's a tough one. I don't think I've ever heard anyone truly qualify what short is, except for arbitrarily as you state. I guess I always felt if it hindered readability of the sentence, then we had a problem.
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Post by dublinkmy6 » 16 Jan 2019, 13:13

I don't know what is what but as far as that sentence goes, I see it as correct.

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Post by Zora C Penter » 04 Feb 2019, 12:41

Grammar Girl specifies it as more than 3 words. Since there is no hard and fast rule, I do not usually ever count it as a true error when one is missing.

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Post by astueve » 06 Mar 2019, 16:54

What about this case? I received this editorial comment on a review.
"Although probably a hats-off to Kerouac's On the Road,"- comma needed after "although"

But my thinking was that "Although probably a hats-off to Kerouac's On the Road" was one whole introductory phrase and the comma should go there.
If the sentence had been "Although, it's probably a hats-off to Kerouac's On the Road." (full stop) then the comma would go after "although"

Thoughts?

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Post by EvaDar » 07 Mar 2019, 11:11

astueve wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 16:54
What about this case? I received this editorial comment on a review.
"Although probably a hats-off to Kerouac's On the Road,"- comma needed after "although"

But my thinking was that "Although probably a hats-off to Kerouac's On the Road" was one whole introductory phrase and the comma should go there.
If the sentence had been "Although, it's probably a hats-off to Kerouac's On the Road." (full stop) then the comma would go after "although"

Thoughts?
I agree with you on this. Commas are needed after introductory phrases and, in this case, "although" is part of the introductory phrase, not an introductory word. See some examples in number 2. of the link below.
https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writ ... ommas.html
You could ask for a recheck and include a similar link. There is no guarantee the editor will return the points. Good luck.
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Post by Renu G » 07 Mar 2019, 22:09

According to me, it depends on how it will sound if you read it aloud. There are different acceptable styles--some use commas while some do not use them. What is important is to be consistent.

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Post by TuyetMai » 18 May 2019, 12:35

I'd say "three's a crowd." Sadly, I don't make the rules. Grammarly also considers 4 words as "short," which is what I've been using as a guideline.
When an introductory prepositional phrase is very short (less than four words), the comma is usually optional. But if the phrase is longer than four words, use a comma.

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Post by EvaDar » 18 May 2019, 12:52

Renu G wrote:
07 Mar 2019, 22:09
According to me, it depends on how it will sound if you read it aloud. There are different acceptable styles--some use commas while some do not use them. What is important is to be consistent.
I agree with this Renu G. There are indeed varying acceptable styles. And when I write pieces that aren't going to be scored (as our reviews are), I use fewer commas and do choose many of them based on the need for a pause in the rhythm of the sentence. But I find it is safer, in terms of an editor's scoring, to place commas according to English comma rules. The exceptions to these rules are a bit inconsistent, as are opinions regarding the need for a comma based on how the sentence sounds. Some editors will deduct for missing commas if the rules require one. I think the safest bet, if one is worried about their score, is to learn the comma rules and follow them.
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Post by Selina1211 » 25 Jun 2019, 08:39

I'm sure hee is need a comma.

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