Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

May 7 2012   7:21PM GMT

When to use a comma after an introductory phrase

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

a. Instead of trying to control what devices access the network, today’s IT administrator should focus on managing risk.

b.  Instead of trying to control what devices access the network today’s IT administrator should focus on managing risk.

Answer: a

Explanation: Instead of trying to control what devices access the network is an introductory phrase.

Rule: Separate an introductory phrase from the main clause of a sentence by a comma.

This was a tricky question. Some grammar experts advocate for commas after introductory phrases without exception. Others maintain that if the introductory phrase is short — and the meaning of the sentence is clear without a comma — the comma should be optional.  Both agree, however, that if the sentence is easier to read with a comma after the introductory phrase, use one.

 Comment on this Post

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: