comma before 'indeed' [adverb, end position]: intelligent man, indeed

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  • theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I'd say it depends on the context, as it means slightly different things with and without the comma. Do you have additional context?
     

    Rabelaisian

    Senior Member
    English - Canadian
    Sure. It's the first sentence of a chapter, it is part of the narrative, and it has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing with anyone. Is that enough contextualization for you? I'm very interested in how exactly the meaning becomes different with or without the comma, so please do tell. :)
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    With the comma it feels more like a response (to a previous statement like "He was very smart, wasn't he?"). Without the comma it feels more like "indeed" is being used as an intensifier ("He was very very very intelligent!").

    Both are possible. When you say the sentence out loud to yourself, do you pause before "indeed"? If you do, put in a comma. If not, don't.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    With the comma it feels more like a response (to a previous statement like "He was very smart, wasn't he?"). Without the comma it feels more like "indeed" is being used as an intensifier ("He was very very very intelligent!").
    Exactly what I was thinking, and put more succinctly than I probably would have done.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It seems to me it acts as intensifier without the comma.

    (a) 'He is a very intelligent man indeed' means 'He is even more intelligent than most very intelligent men'.

    (b) 'He is a very intelligent man, indeed' means 'He is a very intelligent man; yes, that is true'.

    Sentence (b) is equivalent to 'He is indeed a very intelligent man'.
     
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