Don't Put Them: 10 Places You Always Put Commas In You Don't Need Them


Don't put them: 10 places where you constantly put commas, but they are not needed there

“I don't remember the rule, but I intuitively feel that a comma is needed here !” Admit it, familiar? The Russian language is virtuoso in terms of punctuation marks – punctuation rules come with an impressive list of exceptions, you need to pay attention to all sorts of additional conditions, context. Because of all this, confusion sometimes arises in the head – and we sculpt these commas where they do not belong at all. “Subtlety” collected the most common shoals.

  1. Stable phrase “neither fluff nor pen” is written without punctuation marks, although a comma is asked for it there. The same – “no more, no less”.
  2. “Buy anything”, “make it anyhow” and any combination of “any” and “horrible” with “who”, “where”, “what”, “how”, “where”, “what”. These verbal constructions are indivisible, no matter how much we want to tear them apart.
  3. “Of course yes”, “of course not”, “Of course I will”. When the introductory word “of course” is used in short phrases, the comma is superfluous. Piglet Funtik guarantees. It is needed only when a detailed sentence follows in the text. “Of course, I can’t pay that much money for a ticket,” that’s right.
  1. The adverbial combination « at best” is not isolated. “In the best case, I will arrive at the airport half an hour before the check-in closes” – that’s right. The same rule applies to “in any case” and “by coincidence”— no commas.
  2. “Looks like” — if the sentence begins with this phrase, it seems to be quite logical to put a comma. But no, this is not an introductory word, but a particle that does not require punctuation. “You seem to understand everything.”

Not a comma, but still. The expression “good old Europe” makes me want to write with a hyphen – “good old Europe”. Don't be tempted.

  1. When we write “mostly”, then we want to summarize something. A comma here would look very harmonious. And although according to the rules it should not be, but basically everyone puts it. The same goes for “as a whole”.
  1. “I was given a discount on the hotel as a member of the preferential program”. “I can fly for free as an airline employee.” In this case, the comma before “how” is not needed, because the second part of the sentence answers the question “As whom?”
  2. “It will take no more than an hour”. Here, “what” is not preceded by a punctuation mark because it can be replaced by “it will take no more than an hour.” The same trick can be done with “I like it no more than you”, “We don't want to leave any more than you” and other similar constructions.
  1. When using “etc.” (or “etc.”) at the end of the enumeration, an extra comma is often put, but you don't need to do this. It is correct to write: “In the supermarket we bought everything according to the list: carrots, potatoes, cabbages, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.”
  2. “There is something to think about”, “there is something to do” — the word “eat” is not separated from the rest of the phrase. These are set expressions, not subordinate clauses, as it might seem at first glance.

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