Given that online many people don't use many comma, I'm a bit unsure about how much have to be set.

Is it correct to write "We appreciate it, when..." or "We appreciate it when..."?

  • Don't fret too much about commas. If your sentence makes sense without it, leave it off. If you have to read it several times to puzzle out what's happening, bung a comma in.
    – RedSonja
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 7:57

4 Answers 4


Personally (as a native English speaker living in Berlin), if somebody were to write "We appreciate it, when..." (with a comma) I would automatically assume that the writer was a German native speaker.

In German commas are used much more than in English (for example, "I hope, that you had a good trip"/"Ich hoffe, dass..." or "I think, that we should turn left here"/"Ich glaube, dass...") and this is one of those situations.

As an aside, the sentence might be better rendered as "We would appreciate it if..." rather than "We appreciate it when..." (for example, "We would appreciate it if you closed the door behind you" instead of "We appreciate it when you close the door behind you").

The one exception as mentioned above would be a sentence along the lines of "We appreciate it, when alighting from the train, if people [were to] stand to one side to let us off before boarding" - ie if the when introduces a subordinate clause.

  • 1
    Excellent answer! Side note, a quick look at @Christian and his profile lists Berlin as his place of residence, so nice catch there too. +1
    – Imperator
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 19:55
  • 1
    The usage of when in place of if is also a big tell that the writer's German speaking :-)
    – Nico
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 7:37
  • The reason no comma is needed in your examples is because these are explicit examples of subjunctive mood. Similar to "I wish [that] you were gone". It is likely, but not necessary that this is what the speaker intended, so the question remains. In fact I interpreted he meant questions like "We appreciate it[,] when you go out of your way to do X", hence the ambiguity remains; in theory a comma is necessary, since the latter part is an explanation of 'it'. One could make the case for restrictive vs defining role. (btw, I would note that 'native speaker' has little weight w.r.t formal grammar) Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 8:56
  • But "when" rather than "if" might be appropriate: "We appreciate it when customers leave a tip". An example with a comma: "Thank you for sending a donation. We appreciate it, when you choose to contribute in this way." Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 8:59
  • @TasosPapastylianou just to confirm I wasn't attaching any particular weight to being a native speaker, just giving some context as to where my answer came from :)
    – Edd
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 12:31

I'd say definitely no. The main reason I'm saying that is because I read a lot in English and have never seen anyone place a comma in front of when like that, provided that we're talking about sentences that are structured in a similar manner to how you have structured your example sentence here.


We always appreciate it when people who visit us say thank you after they leave.

The only situation where a comma would be required is when the stuff that comes after it is extra information that can be left out without affecting the general meaning of the sentence. But that's not your case here.


I don't like being around people who make sexual innuendos and inappropriate remarks about you, especially when they're drunk.

  • 1
    aka. "if in doubt leave it out" Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 14:39

The correct answer depends on the context. A comma can be used here to introduce a parenthetical clause.

We appreciate it, when we catch a taxi, if the driver opens the door for us.

But if the words after it are integral to the meaning, and not simply parenthetical, then it's better to omit the comma.

We appreciate it when taxi drivers behave courteously.


Whether or not to use a comma between clauses depends on whether the second clause is dependent. This construction would almost forcibly lead to a dependent clause, so you would not use a comma.

This article might help: http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/subordinateclause.htm

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