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You must be here because you’re either quite eager to learn more about how commas work, or you’re simply confused as to why they even exist.
Punctuation marks are a writer’s inner cliques, and among all of them, the comma has always been dubbed as “the most popular one.”
But, why not? In the absence of a writer’s voice, commas do have the power to calibrate the meaning and tone of sentences, not to mention imitating spoken conversations.
Today’s article tackles the meat of comma usage, particularly after the famous English greeting expression “hello.”
Comma after “hello” — Mandatory Use in the Following Instances
In the world of writing, a comma comes after “hello” pretty much all the time, especially when we’re dealing with direct address.
A direct address is a construct that helps a reader identify that a text is straightforwardly referring to a message receiver, rather than merely reporting a piece of information.
Apart from that, a post-comma would also be deemed necessary when “hello” appears at the end of an introductory statement.
Moreover, we would also notice the presence of an after-comma when “hello” is parenthetically used, meaning it non-essentially interrupts a sentence.
Syntactically speaking, a post-comma may also appear when “hello” is used either in a compound or a reversed-order, complex sentence structure.
I couldn’t be any vaguer, could I? To understand the nitty-gritty of the statements written above, why don’t we just take a look at each case one by one?
Coma after “hello” when “hello” is followed by a direct addressee’s name
When we speak to people in actual scenarios, they automatically know that our message is addressed to them.
In writing, however, we need a certain system that would represent such meaning; this thereby marks one of the most vital functions of commas.
A comma is essentially and strategically placed after “hello” when we want to indicate that our textual data is directly addressing a person, a group of people, animals, or even objects.
This is technically known as the vocative case in grammar studies or simply “direct address,” which is apparently neither the place where we live nor work.
Imagine yourself sending a message to your best buddy through any online messaging platform.
Here’s what you might say or write:
The direct addressee’s name in the example above is “Drake,” in which the use of the pre-comma informs your buddy Drake that your message is intended for him directly instead of just any other person.
The comma, therefore, is mainly responsible for suggesting this meaning to the readers more clearly.
Despite the direct address comma rule being the default system, it is preferred mostly in formalistic writing contexts only, or at least by English grammar formalists.
These days, though, many people resort to leaving out the comma, which exemplifies that language can conveniently and arbitrarily evolve over time, if and when language users decide to.
Comma after “hello” when “hello” is at the end of an introductory expression
Introductory expressions have the power to pre-contextualize the main idea of our sentences, which comes afterward.
We do need to separate these sentential elements with a comma to signal the reader that the juice of the information is yet to come.
This also means that a post-comma is needed when “hello” appears at the end of an introductory phrase or clause.
Study this example, please.
As the long-lost CEO opened the door and loudly shouted “hello,” everyone in the conference room got flustered for about a minute.
The introductory clause in the sentence above provides the initial context of the setting described, and thus, the comma placement allows the reader to spare some time to digest the given information.
We have to adhere to this rule every time “hello” appears at the end of our introductory statements.
Comma after “hello” when “hello” comes before a parenthesis
In rhetoric or persuasive language use, we use the term “parenthesis” to describe a speaker or writer’s insertion of comments within a sentence for the purpose of driving persuasion.
Parenthetical elements are non-essential to the grammaticality of sentences, but they are added for the sake of emphasis.
They, therefore, work like linguistic accessories that enhance the intended meaning of any given text or speech.
Parentheses are set off with commas wherever they appear in a sentence; hence, we can deduce that a comma is also placed after “hello” when a parenthesis subsequently follows it.
As you can see, the parenthetical comment in the sentence above interrupts the sentence midway. This comment is grammatically inessential and, thus, removable.
Without it, the holistic meaning of the sentence can still be coherently understood by the reader.
Comma after “hello” when “hello” ends a parenthesis
Now that it is clear that commas need to encapsulate parenthetical statements, we can also infer that a comma should come after “hello” when it is the last word in a parenthetical statement.
Here’s an example for your reference.
This means that identifying parenthetical elements is a precursory skill to knowing whether a comma must be placed or not.
To identify a parenthesis, simply try to remove the word, phrase, or clause, and then check whether the remaining information still conveys complete meaning.
If it does, then you need the help of commas to parenthesize the idea.
Comma after “hello” when “hello” is in a compound sentence
In relation to syntax, grammatical conventions suggest separating compound sentences with a comma.
A compound sentence is made up of at least two independent clauses, clauses that can stand alone, that are linked bycoordinating conjunctions.
These coordinating conjunctions go by the mnemonic device FANBOYS, which stands for “for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” and “so.”
When “hello” is used as the last word in the initial independent clause, a comma should automatically come after it or before the coordinating conjunction.
The comma marks the independence of the two clauses in grammar, and hence, the necessity in creating a compound sentence.
Comma after “hello” in a reversed-order complex sentence
Another syntax-related reason that prompts comma usage is when we construct an inverted complex sentence structure.
A complex sentence is made up of at least one dependent and one independent clause linked together by a subordinating conjunction.
The regular structure for a complex sentence is when the independent clause comes in front of the dependent clause, which means that the conjunction also comes midway.
When we reverse the structure, the dependent clause, therefore, precedes the independent clause. This also entails that the conjunction is used as the first word of the sentence.
In this type of structure, a comma should automatically come after “hello” when it is used as the last word in a frontal dependent clause.
Before we were able to say hello, he was already gone.
Punctuation after “hello” in a letter salutation
Lastly, a comma after “hello” is also generally observed when it is used in salutations, preceding the addressee’s name.
This rule entails the same logic as in the direct address rule explained at the beginning of this section but is separated for clarity reasons.
Depending on the tone we want to convey, we may choose either a period or an exclamation point to end our letter or e-mail salutation.
A period marks a neutral tone, while the latter suggests a more enthusiastic mood towards the reader.
No comma after “hello”
Since we’ve already understood the circumstances that guide the necessary comma placement, let’s also have a look at the two cases where the comma would make the sentence ungrammatical.
We need to drop our comma when “hello” either functions as a noun or an adjective in the sentence
When “hello” is used as a noun we don’t need a comma after it
The comma becomes irrelevant when “hello” is deliberately used as a noun, so long that it does not fall on any of the rules explained in the previous section.
One good example of this particular usage is the use of “hello” as part of the official name of the fictional character “Hello Kitty.”
Hello Kitty is a popular cartoon character.
Of course, we may also use “hello” as a subject or object in the sentence to make it function as a noun.
(Subject) “Hello” is a powerful word.
(Object) If you learn to say goodbye, you will also be rewarded with a new hello.
When “hello” is used as an adjective, we don’t need a comma after it
And, we may also intentionally use “hello” as an adjective if we want to. In this case, a comma should not be placed after it.
Here’s an easy example to demonstrate that.
Not wanting to look desperate, Ally ignored Eric’s hello smile.
“Hello” describes the noun “smile” in the sentence above, and hence, it is strategically used in reference to the kind of gesture that Eric demonstrated.
When do we need a comma after “hello”?
A comma should come after “hello” when it is followed by a direct addressee’s name, ends an introductory statement, comes before a parenthesis or appears at the end of it, or is used in a salutation. We need the comma too when it is used in a compound or a reversed-order, complex sentence structure.
Comma after “hello” in an email
One of the best cases where we would use “hello” as a greeting and put a comma after it is when writing emails.
In general, we use “dear” and the name of the email receiver as a greeting expression, but we tend to use “hi” or “hello” when we want to downplay formality.
We tweak the formality level for some reason, like when we want to show warmth to process a request, welcome a new person, or release some good news.
However, no matter how close the bond we have with the other person, it would still be best to at least write emails properly.
What’s meant by writing “properly” is that we still need to observe grammaticality and correct punctuation.
When you choose to start your email with “hello,” you should put a comma after it, which also means right before the addressee’s name.
Using a period or full stop is also recommended at the end of the salutation or greeting.
To show that more clearly, here’s an example:
This is just to let you know that your piece has been chosen as one of the top 10 finalists. This means that we would need further information about you and your work. Please see attached file for more details about this.
Choosing less formal greetings like “hi” and “hello” may also happen just because we are simply comfortable with the one we are writing to.
So, it is never wrong to use one toward your close colleague or classmate when writing updates via email.
Here’s one more example to show that:
I’m done with my task, and I’m sending the report to you. Attached to this email is the analysis of our department’s quarterly evaluation. If you have any questions or clarifications, please don’t hesitate to reach out soon.
Remember, though, that email sign-offs like “warmest regards” and “kind regards” should always end with a comma rather than a full stop or period.
The full stop or period is only applicable to the salutation or greeting section of your email or letter.
The punctuation of “Hello how are you”
The advent of technology has somehow shown us how convenient written communication can be.
It has come to a certain point of easiness and quickness that we tend to disregard proper punctuation usage.
This can be observed in how confused some people are when writing the expression “Hello how are you.”
While we can leave out the punctuation marks for comfort, it is still best to know when and where they should be used.
“Hello” should be treated as a separate expression from “how are you,” which is actually a question.
In writing, “Hello” should begin with a capital letter and could be followed by either a full stop or exclamation point but not a comma.
Meanwhile, “How are you?” should also begin with a capital letter and end only with a question mark.
This means that it is not right to separate “hello” and “how are you” with a comma and treat all these words as part of one sentence.
“Hello” can be used as the salutation, and “How are you?” can be the opening message.
Let’s try to see that in an email format to see how it really plays out:
How are you? I hope all is well with you and your family, Drake. I’ve heard you are moving to another state within the month. I just wanted to thank you for being such a wonderful neighbor to us. Thank you for watching our dogs while we are away – and kids too. We will forever appreciate your family’s kindness.
Have a good life!
Now, let us also see how to use “Hello” and “how are you” in a sentence format so you’ll never worry again.
Your addressee’s name may either come before or after “Hello” or “how are you.” Whichever you pick, always put a comma before or after the name of the person.
If you want to make your greeting more personal, you can use an exclamation point instead of a full stop after “Hello.”
Hello. How are you?
Ron, hello! How are you?
Hello! Bree, how are you?
Hello. How are you, Trish?
Hello, Mark. How are you?
Frequently Asked Questions on “Comma After Hello”
Do you put a comma after “hello” in “hello everyone”?
Strictly speaking, a comma should be placed after “hello” in “hello, everyone” because the statement is an example of a direct address. In informal conversations, such as in online direct messaging platforms, the comma is often left out or omitted.
How do we punctuate a salutation in an e-mail?
If the e-mail salutation starts with “hi” or “hello,” a comma should be placed right after the greeting expression. However, the comma should come after the addressee’s name when the salutation starts with adjectives like “dear” or “dearest.”
Should we say “Hi John” or “Hi, John”?
It is better to place a comma after “hi” especially when dealing with formal correspondence as “Hi, John” is an example of a direct address. People may omit the comma for practical reasons, which is a bit risky when the intended reader is a bit keen on proper grammar usage.
Commas inherently have the power to change the tone and meaning of textual data, and this is the main reason why this punctuation mark gets along really well with writers.
Without commas, texts would be lifeless and ambiguous, which could even be a source of misinterpretation and misinformation.
Thus, learning and practicing how to use commas appropriately is key in visually representing our thoughts through language
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.