comma after introductory phrase: not surprisingly, on the one hand


Senior Member
Is it good to use commas after these discourse markers when they're used to start a sentence? I'd say I like them better with the commas, but I am not certain that I am correct.

Not surprisingly(,)

On the one hand(,)

On the other hand(,)
  • I agree, up until yesterday I would've always said "on one hand". Then I scoped around on the Internet a little, and found that "on the one hand" is much more used (at least according to Google, my all-knowing, ever-trusted oracle:) ).

    I'm not crazy about the way it sounds either, but here are my search results:
    13.300.000 per "on one hand"
    43.000.000 per "on the one hand".

    But in any event, commas will be employed henceforth! Thank you.
    I suspect that on the one hand is used because symmetry of expression with on the other hand wins over normal usage.
    It's the same with AE-speakers usage of first of all, second of all. I've never heard a BE-speaker say second of all.
    andersxman said:
    (at least according to Google, my all-knowing, ever-trusted oracle:) ).

    With all due respect, owning a computer only requires money, not any real education or intelligence. I've seen professional websites with atrocious grammar, usage, spelling, and syntax. I personally wouldn't use Google searches as a reliable indicator of anything having to do with good language skills!
    Undoubtedly Google must be used with great caution, and what you just quoted me saying was, infact, somewhat ironic. ;) That being said, I also think that Google can be very handy if you have to do with a foreign language - it can help you with prepositions etc. If you have a doubt about the choice between two, and there's a 10,000 to 1 majority in favour of one of them, then I'd go with it.

    Admittedly, nothing has been proven as to which construction is more correct "on (the) one hand"