We can put adverbs and adverb phrases at the front, in the middle or at the end of a clause.

The front position of the clause is the first item in the clause:

Suddenly I felt afraid. Cambridge Dictionary

I notice some writers add comma after adverbs when it is the first item in the clause:

Suddenly, Home Sale Agreements Are Falling Apart Across the U.S. Bloomberg

So, Should I add comma? or Is it matter of writing style?

Suddenly, three cats went out from behind the trash bins, the black, the white and the gray. Ray tried to run away, but the three cats surrounded him.

Is the above statement correct?


The use of commas in English is a common question on this site. Despite what you might have read about the "rules" of commas, in general there are no rules.

Commas are used wherever a pause might exist in spoken conversation, to separate similar concepts or to indicate a change in direction. In writing, they help the reader to better understand the author's meaning, but they are never required.

The only "correct" answer with commas is whether you, personally, would include a pause if you were to speak the sentence out loud:

Suddenly three cats jumped out.

Suddenly, three cats jumped out.

Both are fine. It all depends on how you interpret the rhythm of the action.

  • That being said there are some common practices which help to understand where the pauses would naturally occur in spoken English. – Andrew Feb 24 '17 at 22:08

The comma has syntactic meaning, because the adverb is removed from the corresponding verb phrase (jumped out), a separator thereby helps to parse the text.

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