English Grammar | using a comma with discourse markersIn conclusion, the world population is expanding at an unsustainable rate. [correct]
In conclusion the world population is expanding at an unsustainable rate. [incorrect]
If we look for example, at sports in school. [incorrect]
If we look, for example, at sport in schools. [correct]
Discourse markersDiscourse markers are words or phrases which show how ideas in a text link together. They are often separated from the rest of the text by commas.
We usually use a comma after a phrase or an adverb which introduces a sentence
- In addition, many people suffer discrimination at work.
- On the other hand, the unemployment rate has fallen.
- Finally, local councils need to consider the cost of recycling schemes.
- Unfortunately, there were no more tickets available.
- Similarly, animals kept outdoors are also vulnerable to infection.
We also use commas around certain words and phrases in the middle of a sentence
- This problem can't, however, be solved quite so simply.
- There are more jobs in the city, but, of course, the cost of living is higher.
- Water is particularly scarce in arid regions, for example / for instance, in Africa.
- People who live in cold countries, such as / like Norway, have to spend more money on heating.
Where an adverb describes an adjective, commas are not needed:
- This was matched by a similarly dramatic increase in May.
- However careful you are, accidents can always happen.
See more common English grammar mistakes