Placing commas in your writing doesn’t have to be tricky, but you do have to ensure you know the rules. This article will look into placing a comma after “today” and the different parts of a sentence where a comma applies.
Comma after “Today”?
You should place a comma after “today” when it acts as an adverb at the beginning of a sentence. If it’s the first word in a sentence, it can be used as an introductory adverb to modify the rest of the sentence. In any other position, a comma is unnecessary.
A comma is required after all adverbial introductions like this (regardless of the day used). This is true according to common stylebooks such as the AP Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style.
Here’s a quick example to show you how the adverbial introduction might look:
- Today, I went to the market with her.
It’s commonly used in this way when you want to modify the entire sentence to show that something has happened “today.”
However, if you look past “today” as an adverbial introduction, it is more commonly used as a noun. You will find it in sentences like this:
- I went to the market today with her.
This is the same sentence we used with the introductory adverb. However, “today” has been moved to be less impactful in the sentence. Here, “today” comes in the middle of the sentence, meaning no comma can come after it.
These are the two most common ways to see “today” written in a sentence.
Comma after “Today” at the Beginning of a Sentence?
You should always place a comma after “today” at the beginning of a sentence. It is an adverb when it comes at the beginning, meaning that it modifies the sentence as a whole. It allows you to show what you have done “today.”
For example, you can use the comma after “today” like this:
- Today, I went to the beach.
Here, “today” modifies “I went to the beach” to show the action that took place today.
You might also find that the sentence still makes sense if you moved “today” to the end of it:
- I went to the beach today.
It’s mainly a style choice. Placing “today” at the beginning of the sentence puts more emphasis on when you decided to do something.
When to Use Comma after “Today”
It’s useful to understand when a comma comes after “today.” You’ll always find a comma after it when it comes at the start of a sentence.
- Today, I’m going to need you to give me a clear answer. I can’t keep waiting around for this to happen.
- Today, I wanted to run you through a few of the new topics. Do you have time to do this?
- Today, she spoke to me for the first time. It was a magical moment, and I really didn’t know how to take it.
- Today, I thought I was the only person in the school until I met the janitor later in the day.
- Today, things are going to get better. I’ve been working really hard on making myself as comfortable as I can.
In some instances, you might find a comma after “today” when it comes in the middle of a sentence or at the end of a clause. However, this isn’t a rule that’s exclusive to “today.”
- I will be going there today, and I would like you to come.
- I will see what I can do today, but I won’t be here forever.
- She wanted to see me today, but I told her no.
If you use a coordinating conjunction directly after “today,” you will find a comma after it. This rule is not exclusive to “today,” so it does not need to be covered.
When to Not Use Comma after “Today”
Generally speaking, it’s much more common to come across “today” with no punctuation. It acts as a noun in most sentences, meaning no commas are required.
- I’m going to see him later today. Do you want to come and see him with me?
- What about today? I thought you had a few plans that we could work with.
- I’m not seeing him today anymore. I decided against doing that because it didn’t make sense.
- Whatever was said today can be forgotten. I really don’t see how it’s going to help us progress.
- It’s not happening today. I thought I had already told you that you’d got the wrong day.
As you can see, “today” is a common word to include when you’re talking about things happening “on this day.” You do not need to include any punctuation with it unless it starts the sentence or is part of the adverbial clause.
Comma before “Today”?
The only time you should place a comma before “today” is when it comes at the start of a parenthetical clause. Generally, you do not need to place a comma before it because it is an adverb of time that should be included in the main part of the clause.
There are rare instances when you might find “today” comes at the start of a parenthetical element. Here are a few examples:
- Whenever we decide, today or tomorrow, I cannot be the one to break the news to him.
- I thought I told you, today is not the day to get this done, and I don’t appreciate you talking about it.
- I needed to work out the day, today or next week. Do you have any plans?
As you can see, it’s very difficult to come across sentences that involve a comma before “today.” You do not have to worry about using commas before it because it does not add anything of value to the sentence.
For the most part, commas are not necessary when using adverbs of time. “Today” only needs a comma after it when it’s an introductory adverb or comes at the end of a clause before a coordinating conjunction. In any other situation, avoid using commas.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.