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Usually, we see the following sentence:

Hello Eric, could you please tell me why you are here?

But I am wondering if this one is ok too:

Hello, Eric, could you please tell me why you are here?

Why is it ungrammatical or grammatical? Could you explain?

1 Answer 1

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There is a pause in direct address, so, Hello, Eric, is correct. The example from this reference makes this quite clear:

"Let's eat, grandpa," is not the same as "Let's eat grandpa." [Sorry if that's in bad taste.]

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  • A noun used in direct address should be set off by commas as a structural matter, whether it spoken with a pause or not. It often is, but the pause is not what requires the comma. Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 4:51
  • The comma before Eric is not needed, but it does represent an additional pause, which might indicate that Eric didn't respond immediately to the 'hello'.
    – amI
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 10:02

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