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Comma after “luckily”: A Comprehensive Guide

Comma after “luckily”: A Comprehensive Guide

One of the most common comma misconceptions is a false belief that comma placement is straightforward. That’s not always true.

Sentence structuring is primarily based on tone and rhythm, and this has reasonably created some confusion.

Thankfully, here at Linguaholic, we’re fully equipped to help you navigate the complex world of commas!

So, are you are ready to find out how you should introduce a comma after “luckily”? Let’s get into it!


When is a comma after “luckily” necessary?

“Luckily” is mainly utilized as an adverb, and as such, discretion as to how commas are used in relation to it is crucial. A comma after “luckily” is necessary when a semicolon precedes it and when it is introduced at the beginning of a sentence. However, if “luckily” is placed in the middle of an essential clause, a comma can be placed to your preference. It is also crucial to remember that commas in relation to “luckily” can be used to emphasize tone and create rhythm, which also applies when “luckily” is used as a conjunction. Overall, a comma after “luckily” is necessary on a handful of occasions, but not always. 


The meaning of “luckily”

“Luckily” is an adverb; it’s utilized to alter the meaning of verbs, furthering purpose, and bringing clarity to a sentence.

Similar to other adverbs, “luckily” originates from an adjective: “lucky”. The suffix -ly is introduced at the end, which falls in line with how other adverbs are created in writing. 

However, it is crucial to remember that not every adverb follows the same rule, so don’t be too quick to judge.

You should always strive to use adverbs to your advantage to increase the readability and clarity of your writing.

“Luckily”, as you might have guessed, refers to something that is lucky in nature, such as an unexpected pleasant event.

While “luckily” is most typically utilized as an introductory adverb, you can introduce it at any point throughout an essential clause. 

We’re so excited to help you discover all the ways in which “luckily” can be used in a sentence! 


Comma after “luckily” after a semicolon

One of the most common questions we get concerns using “luckily” as a conjunction. A conjunction is a word used to form a bridge between two separate parts of the same clause.

So, should a comma be introduced after “luckily” when it is used as such? This is one of the few cases in which a comma is necessary, not just recommended. 

A comma should always be introduced following “luckily” if it used as a conjunction because it helps isolate the two separate fragments of a sentence in a way that brings clarity to the reader:

Example 1: John drove the kids to school; luckily, they were on time. 

In this case, “luckily” is preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma. This is correct because “luckily” is isolated as it doesn’t add essential meaning to the sentence.

This is the proper way to punctuate “luckily” in professional settings and casual ones alike.

Example 2: John drove the kids to school; luckily they were all on time. 

“Luckily” is preceded by a semicolon but not followed by a comma here. This is incorrect because punctuation in a compound sentence is necessary to structure.

When a sentence is this complex, a comma should always be placed after “luckily”. 


“Luckily” at the beginning of the sentence

When an introductory adverb is used to alter an essential clause, a comma must always be placed after it. As you will see below, we have put together some examples of how “luckily” is utilized as an introductory adverb:

Example 1: Luckily, we were able to get out of traffic in time.

In this example, a comma has been introduced after “Luckily”. This is correct because it separates “luckily” from the verb which it describes: “to be able”.

As a rule of thumb, you should remember that the introductory adverb must always be isolated from the rest of the sentence.

Use this example as guidance when you have to write academic papers or professional correspondence

Example 2: Luckily we were able to get out of traffic in time.

In Example 2, “luckily” is not followed by a comma, which is not incorrect; however, it suggests a casual tone.

This example should not be used as guidance in professional settings, but the writer is free to use commas at his discretion on this occasion, whether it is to emphasize tone or portray rhythm. 


“Luckily” in the middle of the sentence

If “luckily” is placed centrally in relation to an essential clause rather than in the beginning, a comma can be placed at the writer’s discretion. The examples below will showcase this concept: 

Example 1: Katherine is luckily one of the best cooks in town.

In this example, “luckily” is utilized as an adverb; its function is to bring meaning to the verb that follows it.

However, a comma after “luckily” is not placed in this case.

This is a grammatically correct example, as adding commas, in this case, has the potential to feel redundant.

Since it is unnecessary, we advise that a comma is not placed before or after “luckily”.

Example 2: Katherine is, luckily, one of the best cooks in town.

Example 2 is also correct; however placing a comma preceding “luckily,” and following it is unnecessary in most cases.

The flow of the sentence is interrupted, which is not always a good thing if used unessentially.  


Comma placement with “luckily” after a conjunction

If “luckily” is utilized following a conjunction, a comma should not be placed after it. We have curated some examples that will highlight this rule:

Example 1: Jaimie fell down stairs, but luckily she managed to not break any bones.

“But” is the conjunction of the sentence, as it creates an overpass between the two separate fragments of the essential clause.  A comma is placed before “but”, while a comma is not placed after “luckily”.

This is because the sentence has already been broken up by the comma before “but” in a way that already facilitates the reader.

A comma after “luckily”, if it is preceded by a conjunction, is not necessary; however, it can be introduced as a parenthetical element.

Example 2: Jaimie fell down stairs, but, luckily, she managed to not break any bones.

In the above example, “luckily” is utilized as a parenthetical element. It is not necessary for “luckily” to be followed or preceded by a comma in this case; however, it is recommended. We would advise you to use this example as guidance in formal settings.


When a comma after “luckily” emphasizes tone

If you’ve read any of the other comma articles on Linguaholic, you’ll already know that commas are an incredible writer’s tool. They can be used to create rhythm and emphasize tone. The example which follows will showcase how tone can be implied through punctuation: 

Example 1: I sat behind Sam during the movie screening; I luckily managed to still have a good viewing experience.

The example above does not isolate “luckily” with commas; this creates a naturally flowing sentence. It insinuates directness in speech that does not imply any doubt. 

Example 2: I sat behind Sam during the movie screening; I, luckily, managed to still have a good viewing experience.  

Example 2 isolates “luckily” with commas, which forces the reader to pause at the beginning of the second fragment of the sentence.

This can imply hesitation, doubt and worry, characterized by a pause in speech. Placing commas in such way is a writer’s stylistic choice.