When to add Comma (,) before or after Which

English Grammar can get confusing at times as we all know that English is a growing language that has many versions. A writer who might know things already can still get confused sometimes and the reasons can be many but mostly the confusion is because of too many terms that sound the same with a very slight difference. English grammar can still be very interesting to learn when one is passionate enough to learn new terms to know the English language in depth. Good grammar makes your written text more polished and also does not hurt the reader’s eyes! (Iykyk)

When we look at the meaning of Comma, Wikipedia defines it as – “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.” When one is talking about the English language there are other punctuation marks that you might be familiar like full stop (most common), Question mark, apostrophe, colon, semicolon, exclamation point, a hyphen, etc. A comma is also one of such punctuation marks.

Comma –

In simple language, Comma is used to separate parts of a sentence. If we look back to the Greek word from which the word ‘comma’ is derived, the word itself means ‘a cut-off piece’ which does make the function of comma quite clear in a person’s mind.

But due to other grammatical terms and sentence structure, we cannot just add a comma anywhere we feel like adding in a sentence. There are things that need to be kept in mind before placing a comma anywhere between a sentence. Let us see the uses of comma –

When to add Comma (,) before or after which

  • Comma Before Which – A Comma should always be placed before which when the word ‘which’ comes before a nonrestrictive modifying clause.

A nonrestrictive clause or phrase adds some information to the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. The information is not necessarily needed and even if it’s removed, the meaning of the sentence remains the same.

Given below are some examples that will help you understand the concept more clearly –

  • My sister’s car, which is in a good condition, just need some modifications.
  • He wore the black suit to their wedding, which she had gifted to him.
  • Nik’s business, which he started a year ago, is blooming now.
  • Her video went viral, which she uploaded on tiktok for fun.
  • She’s driving her brothers car, which he told her not to touch.
  • His computer, which was very old, broke today.

Examples make it easy to understand something. The examples for a comma before which are given in the above list helps to get the concept clearly. We can see how a comma is added before which and even if the phrase that follows the word ‘which’ is removed from the sentence it still won’t lose its meaning because the added sentence is nonrestrictive. let’s take the example

  • Nik’s business, which he started a year ago, is blooming now.
  • Here if the part ‘which he started a year ago‘ is removed from the sentence it still won’t change the meaning. It’ll be like ‘Nik’s business is blooming now’ and that the main part of the sentence that stays as it is even if you remove the nonrestrictive clause.

    • A comma after Which – It is not so common to put a comma after which but some people do put the comma after which just to add some pause and style. Not a lot of people like to add comma after which becuase doing so kind of adds a lot of breaks and pauses to the sentence which might break the flow of the sentence for the reader.

    So, this is all that one needs to know when it comes to adding coming before and after which. There is only the addition of a comma before which when there is a nonrestrictive sentence. Remember that only condition, you cannot add a comma before which when there it is a prepositional sentence or a restrictive phrase/clause. Writing is a very interesting job one can do, sometimes it gets a bit messy but the end results are always rewarding when one works hard and passionately.

    Remember when you are learning the English Language you will come across a lot of English words and English grammatical terms which will surely confuse your brain at times but as mentioned earlier if you focus on the basics and from the start, you can definitely master the English grammar without many difficulties but the problem is that we get to learn basic grammar in our primary school where we all tend to not pay attention which is quite normal. The best part is we can start again and learn things that we kinda skipped in our school days and the plus point of learning at an age where our mind is more mature, it helps us to learn and understand more clearly.

    Good luck with your studies, thank you for visiting the page!

    You can also check out the Article – Simile and Metaphor

    Carter Martin

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