My question relates to the use of the comma. I am specifically interested in whether or not to use a comma between a quotation attribution and a following actions tag.

  1. "Let's go," John said (,) looking out the window.

  2. "Let's go," John said (,) with a look of disdain.

  3. "Let's go," John said (,) belatedly.

  4. "Let's go," John said (,) even though he did not want to leave his brother.

  5. "Let's go," John said (,) crying.

I think you get the gist of what I am looking for. There could be an infinite number of other examples I could present but my question is: Is there a rule or set of rules that govern the placement of a comma between the quotation attribution and a following action tab. I have searched everywhere on the web, asked the library, asked an English teacher all to no avail. There must be a rule governing this situation. Please help.

  • Calvin there are dozens of websites that advise on and illustrate the use of commas. Google use of commas and spend some time checking them out. Then see if you want to reconsider your question. Aug 27, 2021 at 19:47
  • None of them address this issue. They get close but never explain in their answers to say the use of the comma what the rule is in this situation.
    – Calvin
    Aug 27, 2021 at 19:48
  • A good guide when using commas is to place them where you want the reader to pause or where they prevent ambiguity. It's a guide that resolves most of your questions. For more expert help, try googling "stackexchange the use of commas" or ** commas and quotation marks**. Aug 27, 2021 at 20:01


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