Is it incorrect to put a comma after "I think", "I hope" and similar introductory constructions?

I hope, my explanations help.

Is this wrong?

  • 1
    Commas are used to identify separate clauses by "splitting" them. You can't use a comma before an essential subordinate clause in this case, and that's it. (Unless you add another non-essential clause, as Mark mentions)
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 20, 2015 at 18:33
  • 1
    In your construction, "I" is the subject, "hope" is the verb, and "my explanations help" is what you hope. Mark's answer explains why that needs to be uninterrupted. However, you could set off "I hope" with a comma if the sentence is rearranged: "My explanations help, I hope." In that sequence, "explanations" is the subject, "help" is the verb, and "I hope" is a tangential secondary thought.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 22, 2017 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Yes it's wrong, it's all one sentence that can't be split up. You could add a small clause (mini-sentence) where your comma is and separate it with commas:

I hope, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that my explanations help.

The reason you can't say "I hope, my explanations help" is because it's like you're saying two separate things. Like "I eat, my dog is asleep." That's two separate ideas split up with a comma, and it's what your sentence sounds like with it.

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