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comma before 'too' / 'also' [adverb, end position]: I like it, too.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by anything, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. anything Senior Member

    English - UK
    Is the comma always necessary (strictly speaking) when a "too" or "also" is tagged on to the end of a sentence? Eg.: "I like it, too/also".
    Thanks.
     
  2. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    The short answer is no.
     
  3. anything Senior Member

    English - UK
    What's the long answer? lol. I mean, to me it seems a bit anal to put the comma there, but I just wanted to know if it is obligatory according to some strict grammatical rule or something.
    Thanks.
     
  4. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)


    Hello:
    Hummmm...this somehow looks odd to me. If comma is a thing that we put in order to imply a pause in between sentences, don't you find it a bit odd to say: "I like it, too." ?:confused: I thought we normally say: "I like it too". Oh, of course I think you know these things better than me since you are a native speaker. (or is it yet another difference between AE and BE?)

    If it's in the end of a long, complicated sentence, I think I personally prefer "......I too like it myself" or "......I also like it":)
     
  5. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    It is not. :)

    There is almost no hard and fast rule for using commas in English; there are tendencies that can be broken if the situation allows for it. Some people tend to put a comma before "too" or "also" at the end of a sentence, but it's certainly not a grammatical rule.
     
  6. anything Senior Member

    English - UK
    Hi. Yes, you're right, I'm a native English speaker ;) but like many people who fall into that category, I've had virtually zero education when it comes to the grammar (and in this specific case, punctuation) rules of my own language.
    I've had this doubt for a while about whether you need to put a comma before words like "too", "also", "though", "anyway", when they are the last word in a sentence, so I just wanted to see what people think.
     
  7. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    When "too" appears at the end of a sentence and it means "also," you can almost always skip the comma — but use the comma if the complexity and sense of your sentence seem to call for it.
     
  8. anything Senior Member

    English - UK
    Okay, thanks, elroy and river. :thumbsup: (<<two commas necessary there? lol).
     
  9. DaleC Senior Member

    Precisely, only according to a strict grammatical rule. :) I classify strict grammatical rules into two classes: those that have some genuine rationale, and those that don't. The former has two subtypes: justified by a strict application of grammar, and merely stylistic yet justified by lending clarity to one's statement. But some rules are misbegotten: they lack either of these justifications. The "comma with too" rule is such a one, at least when applied to a phrase that would, in fact, be spoken without a pause at the site of the comma.

    P.S.: On the other hand, I usually wouldn't see anything bad about putting in the comma.
     
  10. olive6

    olive6 Senior Member

    Hungarian, Hungary
    Hi,

    as far as I know, you have to put a comma before 'too'. In many English coursebooks, however, the comma is left out. How about this?
     
  11. Palestina Libre Senior Member

    Andalucia
    Spanish
    Too has 2 different meaning here, one must be without comma, and the other always with comma:

    The shoes are too small.

    They like the soup, too.
     
  12. olive6

    olive6 Senior Member

    Hungarian, Hungary
    I'm talking about the second meaning. I know it must be preceded by a comma. But why do coursebooks (!) often use it without one then? :confused:
     
  13. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Why would a comma be necessary before too (other than because a rule says so)?
     
  14. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    I can see some kind of logic. "Too", here, could be a sort of sub-clause. The main point of the sentence is that "they like the soup". However, we wouldn't put a comma before "as well", would we?

    I wouldn't put a comma before "too" in this context. This is not to say that it's wrong. Perhaps both choices are acceptable to different grammarians.
     
  15. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I wondered about that[,] too ;)

    I think I put a comma when "too" comes after a longish phrase or clause, but not when it comes after a short one.

    Here's a previous thread.

    EDIT: Link de-activated because threads now merged.
     
  16. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Today's thread has been added to the previous thread Loob found.
     
  17. Broccolicious Senior Member

    Glorious Devonshire
    English - England
    Hi there

    I agree that a comma can be added for the sake of clarity, but isn't always necessary.

    I wonder if there are differences between these examples, though:

    "I've picked, washed, peeled, cored, chopped and cooked the apples. I've eaten some of them, too." (I think this needs a comma)

    "Julian, Dick, George and Anne have eaten the apples - and Timmy has too." (OK with or without the comma)

    This may or may not add anything to the discussion!
     
  18. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Interesting point Broccolicious.
    I wonder does the feeling that a comma is required depend on what the too refers to.

    They like the soup too.
    This sentence could mean either
    - They like the broccoli. They also like the soup.
    OR
    - The couple at table 4 like the soup. The couple at table 6 also like the soup.

    Would that make a difference?
     
  19. Broccolicious Senior Member

    Glorious Devonshire
    English - England
    I was wondering about that too! (You were wondering about it, and I was wondering about it)

    I was wondering about that, too! (I was wondering about this, and I was wondering about my previous post)

    But I wonder if it's more of a representation of the spoken emphasis (shown in blue), rather than anything grammatical.

    Slightly tenuous...
     
  20. truedreamzz New Member

    India - Telugu
    What you said makes sense to me and seem like it cleared my doubt as well.
     
  21. will_petersen New Member

    English
    I, personally, like to use a comma before and/or after "too" in the place of "also" EVERY single time to reduce confusion. I find it easier than contemplating forever whether it is grammatically correct. There is no "right" way, but nobody has ever called me out for putting a comma there, so I continue to do it. I haven't wasted one second of my time trying to decide if I should or shouldn't put one. It's pretty efficient.
     

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