Common mistake no comma before indirect question

If \4 starts an indirect question, you do not need to put a comma before it.

When constructing sentences, it's important to use proper punctuation to convey your intended meaning accurately. One common mistake that many people make is using a comma before an indirect question when it is not necessary.

An indirect question is a question that is embedded within a larger sentence, often used to express a request, doubt, or inquiry. For example:

  • I wonder if you are coming to the party tonight.
  • He asked what time it is.

In both of these examples, the questions are integrated into the overall sentence structure. Notice that there is no comma placed before the word "if" or "what". This is because the indirect question is not functioning as an independent clause that needs to be set apart by a comma.

However, when a direct question is used as a quotation within a sentence, a comma is needed to separate it. For example:

  • She asked, "Are you going to the store?"

In this case, because the direct question is being quoted and stands on its own within the sentence, a comma is placed before the opening quotation mark.

It's important to remember this distinction to avoid incorrect punctuation. If you're ever unsure about whether or not to use a comma before an indirect question, you can rely on the Linguix grammar checker to make sure your writing is error-free.

no comma before indirect question mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    I asked Tom, where he lives.

    I asked Tom where he lives.

  • Incorrect:
    If you would like someone in EIPL/DPC to be signing the contract, please let me know, who the signing authority is.

    If you would like someone in EIPL/DPC to be signing the contract, please let me know who the signing authority is.

  • Incorrect:
    Do you know, what to do?

    Do you know what to do?

  • Correct:
    We know how, where and when.
  • Correct:
    Yes, I know, what can I say?
  • Correct:
    Please let me know what, if any, tanks and term you are interested in looking at asap.
  • Correct:
    So, who knows, if he gets on in Houston, I might get an opportunity to move there too.
  • Correct:
    If my memory serves me, this is a known issue, which I will have to research to find the current status.
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