Commas with Interrupters

Interrupters are little thoughts in the middle of a thought, added to show emotion, tone or emphasis. When we use an interrupter in the middle of a sentence, it should be emphasized with commas. This is because without the use of commas, the flow of the sentence may be awkward for the reader.

Interrupters are easily identified by saying the sentence out loud; you’ll naturally pause where the commas should be. Consider the examples below:

Queen Victoria was, as they say, a formidable woman.

The interrupter as they say needs a comma before and after it to separate it from the rest of the sentence. A few other examples of sentences including interrupters are listed below.

Having demonstrated a decided lack of ethics, the CEO was, needless to say, dismissed from the company.
Teachers do, in fact, change lives.

Names can also be interrupters. See the following sentences for reference.

What, Susan, do you think?
Now, where do you suppose, Davey, your shoes might have gone this time?

Other common interrupters include to say the least, however, generally speaking, sadly, happily, and unfortunately.

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