comma before/after 'especially' [adverb]: his books, especially

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Bhikkhu1991, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Bhikkhu1991 Senior Member


    Could you please tell me when a comma is necessary before 'especially' and when it is unnecessary?

    I have noticed that a comma is sometimes preceding 'especially' and at times no comma is available. I also noticed that no comma is available immediately after it which is unlike 'namely' and 'for example'. 'Namely' and 'for example' are usually surrounded by commas.The following are some examples:

    1. in Britain, any of certain small sandpipers (especially the dunlin) and the great tit (titmouse).

    2. ...Especially disappointing to him was his loss to Emanuel Lasker in 1908 for the world championship. Despite his failures, Tarrasch is best remembered for his books,especially The Game of Chess (1935), which developed and popularized...

    3. These varieties may have to be especially fine for production of specialized cakes, called high-ratio cakes, that are especially light and have good keeping qualities.
    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you.

    With best wishes.
  2. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    In none of the cases you've given is the use of a following comma correct.
    In the phrases Especially disappointing, fine, light, especially is functioning as an adverb modifying the following adjective.
    "his books,especially The Game of Chess" needs the "preceding" comma (which really should be analyzed as a comma that separates the phrase in apposition with "books").

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