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comma before 'too' [adverb, end position]: Have a nice day, too.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Karen123456, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Karen123456 Senior Member

    Malaysia English
    Have a nice day(.) too.

    Is a comma needed after 'day'?

    Many thanks.
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I wouldn't put one there. I think others probably would.
  3. Karen123456 Senior Member

    Malaysia English
    Many thanks, Owlman.
  4. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    I don´t know if it is necessary or not , but I usually tend to put a comma before too , when it´s at the end .
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  5. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 73)
    UK English
    I would say it's a question of taste. I also think that it is better not to use unnecessary commas (e.g. always putting them in the sentence to indicate a pause).

    For example: In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. (a rhyme sometimes taught to schoolchildren in history lessons).

    There is no justification for a comma here. It doesn't help understanding. Despite this, it is commonly done in the US.
  6. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    For me it depends on context - namely, what too modifies/refers to. Here's what I have in mind:

    Scenario 1:

    John: Enjoy your meal. (And) have a nice day, too. <-- comma

    Scenario 2:

    John: Have a nice day.
    Fred: (You) have a nice day too. <-- no comma

    Basically, when too is used in the sense of "in addition to (whatever else)", I would put a comma; when it means "me too" (or whoever), I would not put a comma. More examples:

    a. I went to the store. And I stopped at Fred's house, too.
    b. I love broccoli. And asparagus, too.
    c. We can watch Jaws first, but I definitely want to watch Dracula, too.

    In the sentences above, too can be replaced/paraphrased with "in addition", so I'd put a comma.

    a. John stopped at Fred's house, and I did too.
    b. You love asparagus? I love asparagus too!
    c. Mary's not the only one -- I want to watch Dracula too.

    These can be paraphrased with "me too", so I would not put a comma.

    I'm not really advocating these usages; they could just be a personal oddity of mine.

    What I really think is going on, though, is that there is a difference in prosody (intonation) depending on whether too means "in addition", or rather "me/you/whoever too". Notice that in scenario 1 and sentences (1), where too = "in addition", the sentences up to too have the exact same prosody/intonation pattern regardless of whether too is there or not. This suggests that too is its own prosodic phrase; hence, there is a pause between the main clause and too, and hence why I prefer a comma there.

    But in scenario 2 and sentences (2), where too = "me/you/whoever too", the sentences up to too have a different prosody/intonation pattern depending on whether too is there or not. (For example, if you utter sentence (2c) and stop before saying too, it sounds very incomplete; this is not the case with the sentences in (1).) This suggests that, when too is there, it's part of the main clause, hence no pause, hence no comma.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  7. Karen123456 Senior Member

    Malaysia English
    Many thanks to all of you.
  8. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Hi, Karen123456.

    There are contexts where I would insist on putting a comma before too, contexts where I would never put a comma before too, and contexts in which it does not seem to matter whether I put a comma or not.

    What context, or what particular meaning of too, did you have in mind?
  9. Karen123456 Senior Member

    Malaysia English
    Thanks, Forero.

    Somebody wishes me "Have a fine day."
    I return the greeting with "Have a nice day too."
  10. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    In that case I would add the subject pronoun:

    You have a nice day too. [no comma]
    You too. Have a nice day. [no comma]

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