General Question

brandin's avatar

Is this extra comma needed?

Asked by brandin (17points) April 28th, 2008

In this sentence:
One day I’ll be back, but for now, you can enjoy this elegant tune.

Do you need the comma placement after “but for now,”?

Or is this the correct grammar:

One day I’ll be back, but for now you can enjoy this elegant tune.

When speaking the sentence, I do place a pause after “but for now”


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10 Answers

peedub's avatar

I would use it.

brandin's avatar

hahaha! nice.

ben's avatar

I believe it’s a matter of style rather than “correct” or “incorrect”. Both are acceptable, in my opinion.

Also, where is this sentence going? Some context might be useful.

Oh—and I think part of the reason it’s hard to decide is the sentence construction is a touch awkward. I’m not saying you should use “Enjoy this elegant tune until I’m back,”
but it might be worth examining.

Regarding your original question, I would omit the second comma.

benjamin6's avatar

i agree that the second comma should be omitted. when i say the sentence out loud, i don’t pause after “now.” i’m not sure i agree that it’s a matter of style though; i think it would be incorrect to have the comma even though i’m not sure i can explain why.

brandin's avatar

Thanks for the responses.

The context doesn’t make the sentence any better.

On a blog, I posted a song which made me think about New York. I said:

This song expresses my feelings on New York City. One day I’ll be back, but for now, you can enjoy this elegant tune.

The sentence doesn’t make much sense anyway. Someone else can enjoy the song until I return to NY? The correct expression of the idea may have been: One day I’ll be back, but for now “I” can enjoy this elegant tune.

I was taking some liberties with the sentence – in regards to the sharing of the song.

I still pause when saying it, but I can see how the pause is unnecessary.

Thanks again – I appreciate the insight.

gooch's avatar

The second one is not needed.

gailcalled's avatar

Grammatically, the second comma is not needed; but stylistically, the sentence does not make much sense -I’ll explain why if you really want to know, but that would be pretty boring. Punctuation has rules designed to make English as clear as possible.

peedub's avatar

That’s what I was thinking. Though not necessary, doesn’t the second comma function to sort of make the statement more dramatic, by providing a small pause?

gailcalled's avatar

No, but it IS a bad example. I’m sort of too tired to think of a better one now.

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