To comma, or not to comma.


In a few hours, her father would be home.

In a few hours her father would be home.


Which is correct, and why?

asked May 25 '12 at 03:03 Tony Proano Expert

1 answer


As a matter of personal preference, I always use a comma following an introductory adverbial phrase -- "In a few hours, her father would be home."


However, here is what the Chicago Manual of Style has to say: An introductory adverbial phrase is often set off by a comma but need not be unless misreading is likely. Shorter adverbial phrases are less likely to merita comma than longer ones.


The MLA Style Manual just says: Use a comma after a long introductory phrase.  However, MLA does not attempt to define what is long.


Because the style manual guidance is a bit ambiguous, I tend to err on the side of caution, but it really is your call as the author/editor.

link comment answered May 25 '12 at 04:52 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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