A Question on Comma Usage

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by Amanda, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Mar 28, 2005

    Hey English Teachers and English Whizzes!

    Is it proper to always use a comma before the word "too" - for example:

    I am in the water, too. OR I am in the water too.

    I have always thought that the comma is correct, but I can't find the rule that says it is.

    Thanks,
    Amanda
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Mar 28, 2005

    I think the comma is correct, also...

    I can't find it in Strunk and White, which my Jr. Honors English teacher used as a Bible for grammar... but I'm almost positive you use a comma, though I can't think of a specific rule...

    Hey Jane! :)
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 29, 2005

    Yes, you use a comma. I will look up the technical reason at school today.
     
  5. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Mar 29, 2005

    It can go either way. "Too" is often considered not only an adverb, but also a 'disjunct.' In a sentence that would have a verbal pause before the word, use a comma. If you would not pause with your voice, do not.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Mar 29, 2005

    I would use a comma there, but I don't know what the rule would be.
     
  7. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Mar 30, 2005

    Thanks everyone :)

    I usually can google things and find the answer, but this time I couldn't find the specifics on "too."
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 30, 2005

    I pored over my favorite language handbook (Harbrace College Handbook) and couldn't specifically find an answer. I think it just falls under the rule - 'parenthetical words, phrases are set off by commas."
     
  9. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Guest

    Mar 30, 2005

    I checked A Writer's Reference (4th Edition) by Diana Hacker. I had to have this book as an undergarduate when I was an English major for a couple of years and it really doesn't answer the initial question either.

    My mom loves English and was going to be an English teacher at one point. I showed her both ways of writing that and she says it's proper without the comma and stressed one should write it as:

    I am also in the water. AND NOT AS I am in the water too.
     
  10. DaTeach

    DaTeach Comrade

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    Mar 30, 2005

    We use Daily Oral Language Practice workbooks every day. They do not place a comma before too.
     
  11. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    It goes either way in my college textbook. Adverb, or disjunct. Pause, or not.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 31, 2005

    Elizabeth - what about, 'I, too, am in the water'?
     
  13. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Guest

    Mar 31, 2005

    I, too, am in the water doesn't seem right. Proper English really would dictate I am also in the water.
     
  14. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Mar 31, 2005

    "I, too, am in the water" IS correct, though. It's just an older usage.

    Although if one were actually in the water, the grammar would not seem so important. . . .
     
  15. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Mar 31, 2005

    LOL! I wish I were in the water... preferably in a tropical climate. :D

    I think the various versions of the sentence are a matter of opinion, and the surrounding text and purpose should be considered. In this case, it is a patterned children's book with a simple flow, and "I am in the water, too," seems to be the best choice. :love:
     
  16. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I know very little about books for tiny children, barring the ones my own personal children loved. But if you ask me about YA Lit, I might be able to help ya! And I am probably the only person in the world who genuinely LOVES grammar, too. Sigh. If I'd been allowed to choose my talent, it wouldn't have been grammar. I woulda been a Rock Star! Or some kind of contender. . . . .

    We are studying disjuncts in my classes right now. It makes us feel quite British.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jane, have you read Eats Shoots and Leaves? It was a hoot.
     
  18. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Guest

    Apr 1, 2005

    I, too, am in the water maybe older usage, but it just seems a bit awkward to me based on all of the current day modern English everyone's learning.

    Thank God we're not using ye, thy, thou, etc... anymore! It's too old for my tastes.
     
  19. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I've read that book; it's great! It's British English, not American English, but I love it!

    As for thy, thou, etc. . . . . English is one of the few languages that no longer has formal pronouns to refer to socially superior persons, or persons who were more 'beloved' than others. (Think of Jo March's Professor!) I always showed my students the x-chart with the middle filled in, so they would know where their 'church' pronouns fit in.

    I know, I know. Sigh. I'm a grammar freak.
     
  20. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Guest

    Apr 2, 2005

    There's nothing wrong with that! :D
     
  21. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Apr 2, 2005

    I like for my students to see lots of ways to phrase things, because it helps them understand what they read, and, too, it will make them better writers in the long run.

    Did I do it right, Jane?
     
  22. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Apr 2, 2005

    Yup. (weekend slang. . . .)
     

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