comma before as required
Hello. Welcome to solsarin. This post is about “comma before as required“.
The comma , is a punctuation mark that appears in several variants in different languages. It has the same shape as an apostrophe or single closing quotation mark (’) in many typefaces, but it differs from them in being placed on the baseline of the text. Some typefaces render it as a small line, slightly curved or straight but inclined from the vertical. Other fonts give it the appearance of a miniature filled-in figure 9 on the baseline.
The comma is used in many contexts and languages, mainly to separate parts of a sentence such as clauses and items in lists mainly when there are three or more items listed. The word comma comes from the Greek κόμμα (kómma), which originally meant a cut-off piece, specifically in grammar, a short clause.
A comma-shaped mark is used as a diacritic in several writing systems and is considered distinct from the cedilla. In Byzantine and modern copies of Ancient Greek, the “rough” and “smooth breathings” (ἁ, ἀ) appear above the letter. In Latvian, Romanian, and Livonian, the comma diacritic appears below the letter, as in ș.
For the notation ⟨x⟩ and /x/ used in this article, see grapheme and phoneme respectively.
Commas with “as”
As you’ve pointed out, the word as is sometimes used to connect two clauses. When as is used this way, it generally means while, when, or because, depending on the context, and it is called a subordinating conjunction. The rules about when to use a comma with as are the same as the rules for using commas with other subjordinating conjunctions, including while, when and because.
Here they are :
If the clause with as comes first, a comma is generally required.
- As the plane was taking off, Erica fell asleep. (as =while)
- As I’m a pacifist, I’m against all wars. (as =because)
If the clause with as comes second, a comma is generally not required.
- Jonas fell as he stepped off the curb. (as =when)
- She stayed home as she had no car. (as =because)
However, even in a sentence in which the “as clause” comes second, a comma may be necessary to clarify the meaning.
- She went home as it was raining. (could mean either because it was raining or while it was raining)
- She went home, as it was raining. (clearly means because it was raining).
Comma Use with ‘If necessary’, ‘If required’, ‘When needed’, etc.
At the start of a sentence, use a comma after “if necessary“, “if needed“, “when required“, “where needed“, etc.
If necessary, I can stay up late to complete the work.
We don’t usually need a comma before “if necessary“, “when needed“, etc. in the middle or at the end of a sentence.
I will help you if needed.
But use commas to add nonessential information or create a parenthetical feel in the middle or at the end of a sentence.
Use disposable gloves, when required, before handling food.
The British army needs women and men who are willing to fight for their country, if necessary.
1. ‘If necessary’, ‘If needed’, and ‘If required’ at the Start of a Sentence
“If necessary” means “if it is necessary”. Similarly, if you say that something will happen “if needed” or “if required“, you mean that it will happen if it is needed or if it is required.
When starting a sentence with the conjunction “if”, use a comma to separate the if-clause from the rest of the sentence.
If necessary, you can change the color of your image.
Why to add a comma? As a subordinating conjunction, “if” introduces a dependent clause. When starting a sentence with a dependent clause, we usually place a comma after it.
If needed, funds can be moved from one account to another.
If required, we can provide customers with a truly unique packaging solution.
2. ‘If necessary’, ‘If needed’, and ‘If required’ in Mid-sentence
When an independent clause precedes an if-clause, we do not typically use a comma to separate them.(1)
Adjust the font size if necessary.
The data should be stored and sent if required.
There are situations, however, where the expressions “if necessary“, “if needed“, or “if required” simply provide extra information; that is, information that can be safely removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.
Use a screwdriver, if necessary, to remove the cover.
You can edit the table of contents, if needed.
Use commas to set off these interrupters or explanatory notes in the middle or at the end of a sentence. (2)
Use a mask, if necessary, to protect yourself from air pollution.
We can provide customers with top class security solutions, if required.
But do not use commas if the expressions “if necessary“, “if needed“, etc. are important to understand the meaning of the sentence.
The police may use force only if necessary to achieve a legitimate goal.
3. Related Expressions (‘When necessary’, ‘Where needed’, etc.)
If you say that something will happen when necessary or where necessary, you mean that it will happen when it is necessary or where it is necessary.
Similarly, you can say:
- when/where needed, or
- when/where required.
Follow the same comma strategy when using when/where in front of “necessary”, “needed”, or “required”. That is, add a comma after the first clause when starting a sentence with a when-clause or a where-clause.
Where necessary, personal protection against mosquito bites must be used.
When needed, they provide an excellent customer service.
We do not usually need a comma if “when necessary“, “where required“, etc. is preceded by an independent clause.
The officer takes part when necessary.
A consumer protection is assured where needed.
However, place a comma before and after “when necessary“, “where necessary“, “when required“, etc. to introduce a parenthetical expression or interrupt the sentence flow.
The role of new incentives should be consolidated and, where needed, enhanced.
You can use it wherever you want, when needed.
These simple guidelines will help you decide whether to use a comma when using if/when/where in front of necessary, needed, or required.
- In general, use a comma after “if necessary“, “when needed“, “if required“, etc. to introduce a sentence.
- Do not place a comma before “if necessary“, “if needed“, “where required“, etc. in the middle or at the end of a sentence (unless you are using them as interrupters or explanatory notes).
Do I Need to Use a Comma Before “As”?
In many sentences, if there is no comma before as, then as means “in the way that” or “while.” When you insert a comma before as, its meaning changes to “because.”
Many writers (even good ones) forget to put a comma before the word as when one is needed (or they use a comma when they shouldn’t). Writers tend to make this mistake when forming sentences in which as separates two independent clauses.
Below is an example of such a sentence. The comma is omitted in the first example and is included in the second.
Both of these examples are grammatical. However, they do not mean the same thing, and so it is important to know how the use of a comma changes the meaning of the sentence.
Adding the comma did not change the meaning of any words in the sentence except for one: as. In sentences with the structure of our example, if there is no comma before as, then as means “in the way that” or “while.” When you insert a comma before as, its meaning changes to “because.”
So, the first sentence above, which contains no comma, can be rephrased as “George cleaned the house in the way that his wife had asked him to.”