Commas with Transition Words

Have you ever wondered how to use a comma with however (or if you even should)? Here's the scoop on using commas and semicolons with however, therefore, and other conjunctive adverbs and transition words.

Mignon Fogarty
4-minute read
Episode #574


  1. You need to help with the housework; furthermore, I need a vacation.
  2. Bring Squiggly something he’ll like; for example, he likes chocolate mousse and cheesecake.
  3. This test will make up 50 percent of your grade; therefore, it’s important that you study.
  4. We will, therefore, double our practice schedule. *
  5. You need to clean your room before you go to the movies; therefore, get cracking!
  6. Jimmy threw a rock at the beehive; consequently, all the kids got stung.
  7. Aardvark is, however, the best fisherman on the bass circuit.
  8. Mandy practices piano all day; similarly, you can’t tear Brandon away from his violin.
  9. I cooked Sammy’s favorite dinner; nevertheless, he wouldn’t come out of his room.
  10. Not enough players showed up; in other words, they had to forfeit the game.

* In her book "The Best Punctuation Book, Period," June Casagrande says "Sentence adverbs like 'however,' 'therefore,' and 'indeed' may or may not be set off with commas, depending on whether the writer judges them to be parenthetical insertions or well integrated into the sentence." Therefore, the commas in this sentence are optional.


About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.