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Once upon a time,

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Yogafrau, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. Yogafrau Junior Member

    USA
    Germany
    Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Barb.

    Do I use a comma or not?
     
  2. hly2004 Senior Member

    chinese
    I think no comma is needed here.
     
  3. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    Take your pick.

    I would add the comma, but there are plenty of folk who would say it is unnecessary.

    For me, there is a natural pause after "time", thus, a comma.
     
  4. Yogafrau Junior Member

    USA
    Germany
    Thank you. I, too, always thought there should be a comma, but saw it without somewhere and got confused. Thanks.
     
  5. LeonTheOutsider Senior Member

    Taiwan, Mandarin
    Hi Yogafrau,

    In a sentence some comma(s) are removable without change of the meaning, and in such cases, people tend to remove comma(s) to make the sentence not to look too "loose".
     
  6. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    There certainly is a tendency in "modern" prose to use fewer commas. I think it is particularly noticeable in US journalistic writing.
     
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I would say not - speaking as one who regularly reads aloud stories beginning with "Once upon a time ..." :)

    I don't see any grammatical reason for a comma, and I don't pause at that point.

    You may find THIS LINK about using commas useful.
    There is other punctuation guidance on the same site - click on Up.
     

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