Despite a negative reputation as among the most confusing parts of English grammar, the comma actually follows fairly simple rules.

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Chief among them is that the require for commas is primarily figured out by the need for clarity.

In other words, you really only require a comma as soon as the definition of a sentence or its rule does no make sense without one.

Whether a comma is needed prior to or after particular words is a typical grammar question. This is understandable if you shot to memorize collection rules for each word.

What’s more useful is to understand the actual objective a word, expression or clause has in a sentence.

Once you perform this, commas you discover will loss into ar like expertly i ordered it dominoes.

This blog will tackle the word “including,” assessing the means the word is supplied in sentences and when it needs a comma.

Do you require a comma before “including?”

Whether “including” calls for a comma will depend on what the word is act in your sentence. If it is component of a non-restrictive or unessential clause or phrase, you require a comma. On the various other hand, if “including” is the begin of a phrase that is essential to her sentence’s meaning, you must not include a comma. Back this ascendancy is simple, it can be a little bit tricky as words “including” is ambiguous. One method to think about it is the if what complies with the word room items essential to the topic under discussion, you need to not include a comma. If what adheres to are just some examples of things relating come the topic, you do need a comma.

Comma rules because that restrictive clauses and also phrases

A expression is a group of words in a sentence that forms a cohesive team or idea. Uneven clauses, which should contain at least a verb and also which often encompass a topic or object, phrases deserve to consist of any kind of group the words.

The native “giant plate of spaghetti” is a phrase, if “I ate the giant plate that spaghetti” is a clause. The word “including” primarily appears in unit volume rather than clauses, so because that the remainder of this post we’ll pole to discussing phrases.

When a phrase is limit or essential, that means it more fully defines the main clause that the sentence.

One easy way to call if you have actually a restrictive phrase is by removed it, since that will adjust the definition of the sentence or make it nonsensical.

For example, in the sentence “My brother just eats meals including french fries,” the expression “including french fries” is restrictive.

It’s basic to tell, since with that phrase removed the sentence i do not care the quite odd “My brother just eats meals.”

Commas before “including” in restrictive phrases


As you can note native the instance sentence above, border phrases execute not usage a comma prior to them.

If we return to the idea that commas exist to add clarity to a sentence, it’s apparent why: the absence of a comma pulls the eye follow me the sentence come the finish without stopping, so that we recognize all the principles it includes are strong connected.

In short, if you can not take out the phrase that starts with “including” from her sentence, the is restrictive and also should not have a comma.


“Alfred’s girl friend will just go to see movies consisting of vampires.”

“Jennifer hates listening to songs consisting of bagpipes.”

In both of these sentences, the phrases “including vampires” and also “including bagpipes” are necessary to expertise the meaning.

As through our previously french fry example, the an initial sentence here is a little odd without its restrictive phrase there come tell united state what sort of movie Alfred’s girl friend likes.

Similarly, we can tend come look askance in ~ Jennifer if she no listening to any kind of song whatsoever.

This hints us into the reality that us are managing restrictive phrases, and that means we should not insert a comma.


“Jennifer’s favorite singers are all women, consisting of Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and also Aretha Franklin.”

“The actress was a well known speaker for plenty of reasons, consisting of her capability to make civilization cry.”

In this examples, the comma prior to “including” allows us know what adheres to is a list of examples that we have the right to safely skip.

In the 2nd sentence, we know that the actress’s capability to make world cry is just one factor she’s a famed speaker.

We don’t know what the others can be, however we recognize that there space others, and also even if we didn’t perform anything we would certainly still know she was famous for more than one reason.

Can friend imagine the an initial sentence without the comma? that would average that the singers Jennifer choose are accurate the 3 singers following merged into a single person.

While that might make for an amazing science fiction movie, the doesn’t make lot sense!

“Including” or “That Includes”?

It’s precious noting the while they room grammatically correct, sentences with a restrictive phrase and the word “including” look and also sound a small odd.

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Typically, a restrictive phrase using this word would certainly take the form “that include” (or “that includes” or “that included”) instead of “including.”

Rewritten to match that pattern, our example sentence around bagpipes would look choose this: “Jennifer hates listening to song that encompass bagpipes.”

While both creates are grammatical, you would certainly be best served to rephrase any kind of sentences the contain a restrictive clause or phrase start with “including.”

As a bonus, this method you don’t have to worry about whether or no you require a comma before “including,” because you can remember the it only needs to show up in non-restrictive phrases, which constantly use a comma.