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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.

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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.

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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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