Do I need a comma in the phrase "In your letter you've asked me about my relationship with music."? Grammarly (a Chrome add-on that checks spelling and punctuation) corrects it, inserting a comma after the word "letter", but it's not an introductory word/phrase, so either I misunderstand something, or Grammarly is wrong.

What's the case?

1 Answer 1


Why do you think it isn't an introductory phase? It's a prepositional phrase that sets up the context for the main clause. I always use a comma, but some style guides recommend against one for short phrases. For example, Purdue's OWL site says,

Some introductory elements don't require a comma, and sometimes the subject of a sentence looks like an introductory element but isn't. Do not use a comma in the following cases:

After a brief prepositional phrase. (Is it a single phrase of fewer than five words?)

After a restrictive (essential) appositive phrase. (See our document on appositives.)

To separate the subject from the predicate. (See below.)


  • I find the Grammarly add-on very helpful with correct punctuation, however, it's recommendations are what is required in strictly formal writing. Your example is one for which I might overrule Grammarly, and not use a comma, if I was writing something more informal. BUT, it would never be wrong to use a comma. Dec 10, 2018 at 1:38

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