Oof, it’s been a rough week for some of us. But you know what will make everything instantly better? Some tremendous linguistic life hacks.
This time around, we are tackling commas in relation to one of the greatest essay sentence starters: “typically”.
Unique yet easy to understand, you’ve probably found yourself using “typically” at the beginning of a paragraph quite often.
Continue to read to find out more about how to use commas after “typically”.
When is a comma after “typically” necessary?
“Typically” is mainly used as an introductory adverb, so including a comma after “typically” is necessary since it modifies the independent clause that follows it. “Typically” is always used as an adverb, but when it is placed in the middle of the sentence, followed by a verb, a comma should not be introduced. This is because it breaks up the sentence unnecessarily. A comma after “typically” is also not necessary when it is preceded by a conjunction; however a comma before “typically” is always recommended when it is used as a conjunction instead.
“Typically” can become a parenthetical element when it is isolated by commas, however, this can only happen when it is placed in the middle of the sentence.
When “typically” is followed by a noun, it should also not be isolated with commas, while if it is placed at the end of a sentence it should only be followed by a period, but preceded by a comma. Overall, a comma after “typically” is necessary on a handful of occasions, but not always.
The meaning of “typically”
“Typically” is an adverb; it is used to modify verbs, adding new meaning, and clarifying essential clauses. Like other adverbs, “typically” derives from an adjective, “typical”.
The -ly is added at the end, similarly to other adverbs, which include “practically”, “regularly” and “similarly”.
However, not all adverbs end in -ly, so don’t be fooled.
Adverbs are powerful grammatical tools that have the power to make a sentence stand out, if used correctly. “Typically” means that in most cases, something is taking place.
While it is often used as an introductory adverb, you can utilize it at any point in the sentence.
We are ecstatic to dive into the various ways in which “typically” can be used in relation to commas in a sentence, while highlighting some of the common mistakes that writers make.
Comma after typically in more detail
“Typically” as an introductory adverb
If an introductory adverb is utilized to alter an essential clause, a comma should be placed following it. Below we have curated some examples of how “typically” can be used as an introductory adverb:
As you can see above, “typically” is followed by a comma. This is the correct way of breaking up the sentence because it isolates “typically” from the verb which it describes: “to show up”.
The introductory adverb must always be separated from the independent clause. You should use this example as guidance when you are looking to write academic papers and professional correspondence.
In Example 2, “typically” is not followed by a comma, which is incorrect. As mentioned above, “typically” must always be followed by a comma when it is placed at the beginning of the sentence.
You might have noticed that this example is not as easy to read as the first one.
“Typically” in the middle of the sentence
If “typically” is located in the middle of a sentence followed by a verb, rather than in the beginning, a comma should not be placed. The examples below will highlight this rule:
In this example, “typically” is used as an adverb; its function is to describe the verb that follows it. However, a comma after “typically” is not introduced in this case because it is an essential clause.
Essential clauses provide crucial information, which is why they are not separated by commas. “Typically” adds vital information necessary for the reader to understand the sentence.
This example, unlike the one above it, is incorrect. In this case, a comma is unnecessarily placed after typically, which breaks up an essential clause needlessly. The flow of the sentence is interrupted.
“Typically” after a conjunction
When “typically” is used after a conjunction, a comma should not be placed. The following examples will highlight this rule:
“However” is the conjunction in this case, as it creates a bridge between the two separate parts of the sentence. A semicolon is placed before “however”, while a comma is not placed after “typically”.
This is because the sentence has already been broken up in a way that makes it easier for the reader to engage. A comma after “typically”, if it is preceded by a conjunction, is not necessary.
In the above example, “typically” is incorrectly isolated. It is not necessary for “typically” to be followed or preceded by a comma in this case.
When a comma after “typically” emphasizes tone
As you might already know, commas are a fantastic tool used to emphasize tone and create rhythm. The below examples are both correct, and they will highlight how tone can be implied through punctuation:
The example above does not isolate “typically” with commas; this creates a sentence that flows naturally. It implies straight-forward speech that does not hint at hesitation.
Example 2 isolates “typically” with commas, which forces the reader to stop and take notice of the word. It can bring attention to a tone of hesitation, which might be characterized by a pause in speech.
When “typically” describes a noun
The examples below will highlight the difference between “typically” and “typical”, and how sentence structure is modified based on which one is used:
In the example above, “typically” describes Sarah. It characterizes the noun, putting crucial meaning onto the sentence.
“Typically” is not isolated by commas to create a continuous flow. Since -ly has been added at the end of the word “typical”, it makes this an adverb that has to be followed by a verb.
In this case, “typically” also describes Sarah, but it is isolated. This is a stylistic choice that is not incorrect. You can include commas in your writing if you deem it appropriate, to allow tone to come across.
Here, “typical” is an adjective rather than an adverb like “typically”. Its function is radically different from what we have seen so far, but the meaning is the same.
Unlike “typically”, “typical” is not followed by a verb, and it is also not isolated by commas since it adds essential meaning to the sentence.
“Typical” in this case is incorrectly isolated. You should not use commas before or after a singular adjective.
It is grammatically correct to only use commas between two coordinate adjectives. Coordinate adjectives always come in multiples, and they describe the same noun with equal importance.
When “typically” is used at the end of the sentence
If you find yourself needing to use “typically” at the end of a sentence, it can be preceded by a comma but not followed. “Typically” at the end of a sentence should be followed by a period, rather than a comma. The below examples will highlight this:
In this example, “typically” is preceded by a comma but not followed. A comma here is not necessary but it is definitely more professional to break up the sentence at this point.
It is grammatically correct to place a comma before “typically”, following a similar structure as you would if “typically” was located at the beginning of the sentence.
“Typically” is not preceded by a comma in this case. This is not grammatically incorrect, however, it is advised that unless you have an inherent need to highlight tone you should place a comma before “typically” if it is placed at the end of a sentence.
When “typically” is used as a conjunction
You might be wondering, what if I want to use “typically” as a conjunction? Should I introduce a comma? The answer is yes, but not after it.
A comma should be placed before “typically” if it used as a conjunction because it helps break up the two separate clauses in a way that is clear to the reader, increasing the overall readability of your writing:
In this case, “typically” is preceded by a comma which helps the reader connect “typically” as an adverb to the verb it is trying to characterize. This is the correct way to punctuate “typically” in a professional setting as well as in a casual one.
“Typically” is not preceded nor followed by a comma here. This is incorrect because it creates confusion in the reader’s mind as to what “typically” is referring to as an adverb.
There are a couple of separate verbs which are used in this phrase, however, “typically” only describes one. Such a long sentence should always be separated by a comma.
To conclude, we can deduct from these examples that a comma after “typically” is not always necessary, and it is rarely mandatory.
A comma after “typically” can be placed as the writer wishes to, taking into account rhythm and tone. When “typically” is used as an introductory adverb, however, a comma is always introduced.
Knowing how to use the right punctuation is crucial to your writing, and commas are a fantastic tool used to connect with the reader in a way that words can’t.
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.