Comma with Also

A reader asks:

When begining a sentence with “also,” do I have to put a comma after “also?”

Yes

If you attach “also” to a free-standing sentence, then you do need to put a comma after it.

Example:
Jose Saramago writes novel with a distinctive style. Also, his eccentric plots often reveal hope in the midst of despair.

Notice here how the rest of the sentence can stand on its own without “also.”

And No

If “also” is part of a complement in an inverted sentence pattern, then you do not need to put a comma after it.

Example:
John Tallman was slated to dive for the U.S. team. Also on the roster was Jerry Lancelot.

In this example, “also” is part of the phrase “on the roster.” The normal structure for this sentence would be, “Jerry Lancelot was also on the roster.” Now that I look at my example sentence again, I can imagine it standing on its own without “also”: “On the roster was Jerry Lancelot. Still, “also” is a part of that phrase that makes up the subject complement.

Yikes, that was a hard one to explain. I’m afraid I might have confused matters even more. Let me know if you need further explanation, or if anyone out there can help clarify.

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2 Responses to Comma with Also

  1. topai says:

    Do i need to put comma after the day?
    ex: Tuesday, 11th Sep 2007

  2. Karl says:

    Yes, you should place a comma after “Tuesday.” The date (11th Sep 2007) acts as an appositive modifying “Tuesday.”