Learn English – Commas After Conditionals


It seems to me that commas for conditionals are falling out of favor. I often see the comma dropped in sentences like:

If you get stuck in a passive sentence always ask the question:

I would put a comma after sentence. But I think my writing ends up with too many commas. How do I decide which ones to drop? Do I just arbitrarily get rid of a few that come after reasonably short conditionals?

Best Answer

Commas, like most punctuation, are meant to be a visual indicators of spoken phrasing or inflection. Where your speech calls for a pause, a comma is often used (and sometimes where you should pause but simply run on).

In modern usage, commas are sometimes omitted from very short phrases where the meaning is clear, and a breath is not really needed to separate the clauses or phrases.

In the example you give, I would use the comma as you suggest.