Under our Sverdlovsk Beef brand, we produce marbled beef from Aberdeen bulls brought to Russia from Scotland.

Is comma obligatory after "brand", or could this prepositional phrase be left without a comma?

I googled and found the following rule on a website:

When the prepositional introductory phrase is short (less than 3-4 word), the comma can be omitted, but it is not wrong to use it.

Does it apply here?


Any adverbial prefix (adverb, prepositional phrase, participle phrase, clause, etc) can be separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma.

Yesterday, the weather was good.

The comma is optional but, the longer the adverbial, the more important it is to do so: the comma makes a long adverbial prefix easier to parse.

I would regard the 'rule' that you quoted as a guideline (c.f. the pirate's code) rather than a rule. It's a good guideline, though, and I recommend that you stick to it where possible.


No, that 'rule' wouldn't apply to your example because it states it applies only when the introductory phrase is 4 words or fewer, and yours has 5.

The good news is that this 'rule' isn't universal, just a style guide, of which there are many. Any organisation that puts out written material from different writers may have their own style guide to bring a degree of consistency throughout their publications.

In cases like this where the comma is optional, consider how it sounds when spoken and how a comma might help break it down to be better understood.

Also remember that you can always swap the phrases around to omit the comma, for example:

We produce marbled beef from Aberdeen bulls brought to Russia from Scotland under our Sverdlovsk Beef brand.

  • Or even "our Sverdlovsk Beef brand produces marbled beef from Aberdeen bulls brought to Russia from Scotland." Note: this might change the meaning of the phrase if the product was not produced by the company, but was relabeled/rebranded under your brand. – Nigel Touch Feb 24 at 14:58

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