Learn English – Comma or no comma before a proper name in a “tag question”

commasquestion-tagsquestions

First question. Which of these "tag question" variations is most correct?

  1. You're going, right John?
  2. You're going, right, John?
  3. You're going. Right, John?

(1) looks best, imo. (2) seems more proper, though. (3) seems way too emphatic.

Second question. What is the technical/grammatical name for the person being addressed in these sentences? "John" is a proper name, obviously, but how do you describe its function within the sentences above? "Target"? "Object"? "Addressee"? I assume there's a more technical term for it.

Best Answer

In your examples, John is a noun of direct address, which is always set off by commas. While this rule is still valid in formal registers, one often sees very short sentences without a comma:

Welcome students. — instead of — Welcome, students.

That would suggest that

You're going, right, John?

obeys the standard rule.

A semicolon might aid reading:

You're going; right, John?