General Writing and Grammar Help/A few days ago

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Question
Dear Ted:

Regarding the punctuation of the sentence below:

A few days ago, I sent you an e-mail message, but I haven't received a reply since then.

My question is the following:

Is it correct to use a comma after "A few days ago"?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Regarding the punctuation of the sentence below:

A few days ago, I sent you an e-mail message, but I haven't received a reply since then.

My question is the following:

Is it correct to use a comma after "A few days ago"?

*** Some people would argue that the comma is unnecessary, because the opening phrase is so short.  I disagree.  I believe that separating the opening phrase from the rest of the sentence helps make the sentence clearer and more easy to read.  To me, when opening phrases refer to "time," they should always be followed by commas.

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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