comma after introductory phrase [preposition]: In many respects this

Eerie

Member
Chinese
I was reading the definitions of "respect" (as a noun) on thefreedictionary.com and, after taking notice of the examples presented, wanted to ask this question regarding comma usage.

Here are the examples which were used on the site:
In many respects this is an important decision.
In virtually all respects boys develop more slowly than girls.
Now, shouldn't there be a comma after "respects" for both sentences? Like so:
In many respects, this is an important decision.
In virtually all respects, boys develop more slowly than girls.
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On the topic of comma usage, should there be comma preceding "and" in the first sentence of this post?
I was reading the definitions of "respect" (as a noun) on thefreedictionary.com, and, after taking notice of the examples presented, wanted to ask this question regarding comma usage.​
 
Last edited:
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You sound as though you want us to be terribly prescriptive about this, Eerie. Punctuation is a matter of good manners from the writer to the reader, to make reading easier, and meaning clearer.

    You could put in those commas after respects, but I wouldn't. The sentence is short and there is little chance of ambiguity.

    On the other hand I would include the red comma in your opening sentence; I think we need a small break after com.
     

    Eerie

    Member
    Chinese
    On the other hand I would include the red comma in your opening sentence; I think we need a small break after com.
    Thank you for your input.

    You sound as though you want us to be terribly prescriptive about this, Eerie. Punctuation is a matter of good manners from the writer to the reader, to make reading easier, and meaning clearer.
    I do. Is there something wrong with wanting to follow the correct (or suggested) punctuation rules?
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I agree about the comma after com, which is necessary because the succeeding phrase is in parenthesis. If the sentence had continued "and wanted to ask this question" (without reference to reading the examples), I would put the comma before, instead of after, "and".
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    [...]
    Is there something wrong with wanting to follow the correct (or suggested) punctuation rules?
    A number of the sets of correct (or suggested) punctuation rules allow discretion in various circumstances.
    For example, having set out when commas should be used, they make the point that ThomasT made. If a sentence is short and there is no possibility of ambiguity, a comma that would be required in a longer sentence with the same structure may be omitted.

    For example: Use your judgement: if a sentence seems clear without gapping commas, don't use them; if you have doubts, put them in.
    Source
     
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