comma before and after 'therefore' [adverb]: The weapon, therefore,


Senior Member
German / Switzerland

I am currently writing a paper in English literature and I am unsure about the commas in the sentence below. Do I need a comma before and after the therefore?

The weapon, therefore, can be read as a strong indicator for a forthcoming crime.


  • Hi, tigerduck. I agree with Kenneth Garland, but I wanted to offer you another little test to see if commas are appropriate punctuation in a given case: If the main sentence makes complete sense without the word or phrase, then set it off by commas.

    He is, as far I know, a good dancer.

    If the word or phrase within the commas is essential to the meaning, don't use commas:

    My brother Rick is writer. My brother, whose name is Rick, is a writer.

    (Both sentences The first sentence leaves room for the possibility that I have other brothers who are not writers. The second implies that I have one brother, his name is Rick and he is writer.)

    See? Easy.

    Edit: This is so embarrassing. I gave wrong explanations about my own examples. :eek: Thank you to the colleagues who were too tactful to point that out.
    panjandrum said:
    The weapon can therefore be read as a strong indicator for a forthcoming crime.

    No commas required.

    That is, of course, correct.

    I do, though, think that sometimes it is better to keep the sentence as simple as possible for ease of reading.

    To interpose extra vocabulary between the subject and the predicate is best only used for effect as it increases the reading difficulty of the sentence. Of course the effect - usually of emphasis - is often desirable.
    Is there a difference between "The weapon, therefore, can. . ." and "The weapon can therefore. . ." ?