When do you use a comma before or after but

Grammar is always stressful when you have missed the basics but now that you are working on it, it’ll get better and easier to understand most of the needed grammatical terms!

Sometimes, when you are writing, a lot of confusion happens. But if you are stuck with this particular confusion of using ‘but’ and commas that we are here for the help. You might have heard about the Comma rules and all the other things but in this article we will mainly focus on the very common transitional word – ‘But’ and where to put comma – before or after – when using but in a sentences.

Let us first see the more formal definitions of Comma to get an idea about the existence of this grammatical term – Comma. So, the Google dictionary defines Comma as a punctuation mark, indicating a pause between parts of a sentence or separating items in a list and Wikipedia defines Comma as A comma is a punctuation mark that appears in several variants in different languages. It has the same shape as an apostrophe or single closing quotation mark (’) in many typefaces, but it differs from them in being placed on the baseline of the text. Some typefaces render it as a small line, slightly curved or straight but inclined from the vertical.

Talking of the word ‘but’ in English grammar it is a conjunction that connects two clauses or statements. Sometimes it also acts as a adverb or preposition(in case of noun).

Putting Comma Before ‘But’

Simply putWhere there are two independent clauses to be put together you add the word ‘but’ with a comma before it.

Hence, in order to connect the two independent clauses you add a comma before but. (An Independent clause is a simple sentence that contains a subject and a predicate and without the help of any supporting sentences makes sense in itself.) Let us understand this with a few examples –

  • I really want to go to the party, but I need to complete my assignment today.
  • She finished her meal, but she is craving for some snacks.
  • He went to the station, but he forgot to bring the train ticket.
  • They want to travel, but they don’t want to leave their comfort zone.
  • The game was amazing, but the game ended very soon.

With the help of the following examples it’s clear that the two sentences joint using the comma and but are able to stand alone which makes them independent clauses. Hope that gives you a clear idea about using comma before the conjunction ‘but’ in your writing.

Putting Comma after ‘But’

Now that you have understood the relation of but, comma and joining of two independent clauses, let us see when you can put comma after ‘But”

Simply put – A comma after ‘But’ is only placed when there is an interrupter in the sentence. (Interrupter is a sudden thought or phrase that is put in the sentence to put more emotion or emphasis on the particular statement)

Make sure to put the comma both before and after the interrupter. Also, it is not very common as well as it is not necessary to put comma before ‘but’ however you can put the comma if you want, it helps the sentence to look more accurate.

Let us look at some examples, to have the idea more clear –

  • But, atleast, she came to see you.
  • But, in fact, we all are beautiful in our own way.
  • But, surprisingly, he was the best among all of them.
  • But, surely, they know what they have done.
  • But, of course, they both love each other.

The above examples gives a very clear idea about using comma after but. One thing to keep in mind is that an interupter does not change the meaning of the sentence. If it is removed from the sentence, the sentence still carries the same meaning. Hope the concept and Comma rules for the word ‘but’ is now quite clear on your mind. That was all that one must know about using comma before or after but! Hope this article helped you.

We hope the concept and Comma rules for the word ‘but’ is now quite clear on your mind.

Thank you for visiting the page!

Carter Martin

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