My definition of a sweatshop[,] is a factory or a place of work that does not meet safe working conditions and often mistreats its workers by offering them very low wages for long working hours.

Should there be comma or another mark before offering my definition?

The potential problems of using sweatshops[,] are the dangers that come by employing people in unsafe and inhumane conditions.

Should there be a comma before "are?"

Many people will disagree with me[,] saying that it is the only way to keep up with the competition in our capitalist society.

How about this comma over here?

  • 1
    In your first sentence, a comma could be placed before the conjunction and, but the sentence is fine without it. Certainly, though, there should not be a comma anywhere else. The second sentence should have no comma at all. In the third, the comma is used perfectly. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


Commas are disjunctive—in most cases they are employed to 'bracket out' 'supplemental' (parenthetical) pieces of the sentence which lie outside it the core syntactic structure.

It's proper to use a pair of commas to bracket a supplemental phrase or clause which lies between the verb and its subject or its object; but I can think of no circumstance in which it would be desirable to separate a verb from its subject or its object with a single comma.

So the commas in your first two examples are improper: they separate the subjects (My definition of a sweatshop, The potential problems of using sweatshops) from their verbs (is, are).

In the third example, however, the comma is proper: it separates the main clause (Many people will disagree with me) from a supplement which provides additional details about the disagreement.

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