It has been strongly suggested that we use Grammarly for correspondence at work, and I find some of the corrections it provides unnecessary. Grammarly frequently insists I use the word 'that' where I feel a comma would be equally sufficient.

In my opinion, the 'See/Learn more' details Grammarly provides do not apply to using 'that' instead of a comma: "Conjunctions are words like and, but, because, and when. They connect other words and phrases and show relationships between them. Choosing the right conjunction depends on context. Incorrect: It’s not cold, neither hot. Correct: It’s not cold, nor hot.
Incorrect: It would be nice when you can visit tomorrow. Correct: It would be nice if you can visit tomorrow."

This is an example of a sentence I would typically write, "I can assure you, our team is working hard to ensure you have a smooth process moving forward."

This is the Grammarly correction, "I can assure you that our team is working hard to ensure you have a smooth process moving forward."

Is my first example incorrect for some reason I'm unaware of?

  • I can see a workplace strongly suggesting the use of Grammarly, and at the same time not requiring employees to follow all of its suggestions. Grammarly does more good than harm to writing, but to require employees to follow it completely would be a huge mistake.
    – gotube
    Aug 19, 2022 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


Technically, what you wrote is a run-on sentence and is considered a minor error in professional writing.

A different way to describe the error is to note that we do not put a comma between a verb and any part of its complement (except to mark off adverbial or adjectival phrases).

I gave him, the book

is not properly punctuated according to any style guide I have seen.

I gave him the book

is correct punctuation.

The verb “assure” normally takes just such a compound complement, part identifying who is being assured and part identifying what is being assured. We do not split that complement with a comma.

One way to indicate what is being assured is through a clause introduced by “that.” The “that” is optional. You may omit “that,” but if you do, do not replace it with a comma.

(Personally, I tend to retain “that” unless the clause is very brief. That is a stylistic choice rather than a rule of grammar.)

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