English as a Second Language/Comma before


QUESTION: Hi there,

I would like to know that when should we place a comma before "without" in a sentence? Let me write a sentence as an example.

"I have to complete the work, without the help of my seniors."

"He drank water, without asking me."

ANSWER: Hello Den,

I don't see any reason for the use of commas in the examples you have provided.

On the other hand:

He did this independently, without my asking.

Here you need a comma because you have an adverb (independently) and an adverbial phrase (without my asking), so you need to separate them by using a comma.

I hope this helps.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi there,

Thanks for your answer. I read somewhere that when an additional information is provided, you need to place a comma. For example,

South Korea is an Asian country, which is also called Republic of Korea.

Anyway, Can I rephrase your sentence like this:-

"He did this independently without asking me."

Or should it be like this:-

"He did this independently, without asking me."


In the example I gave you you need a comma before "without".

Also as far as your sentence about Korea, I'd rephrase it to read:

South Korea is an Asian country, also called the Republic of Korea.

Here is more info on commas with additional information:


I hope this helps.

Looking forward to more of your interesting questions.



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Amy Baker


I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.


I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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