It can be difficult to know when to place commas in your writing, especially with words like “yesterday” that don’t always need them. This article will explain all you need to know about placing a comma after “yesterday” (or not using one at all).
Comma after “Yesterday”?
You must place a comma after “yesterday” as an introductory adverb. This is the case when it comes at the start of the sentence and modifies the sentence as a whole. A comma is not required if it is not an introductory adverb because it does not add value.
The Chicago Manual of Style and The AP Stylebook (among other style guides) both highlight that adverbs of time do not require commas. The only exception is when they modify the sentence as a whole.
To modify the whole sentence, “yesterday” will come at the start, like so:
- Yesterday, we had a lot of fun.
You can use it like this to emphasize when something happens. “Yesterday” becomes a modifier for the entire sentence rather than just one word.
In most other situations, “yesterday” does not modify the whole sentence. Here is how it works:
- We had a lot of fun yesterday.
You can place “yesterday” at any other point in the sentence to remove the emphasis. This means you do not need to include the comma to separate it or show that it modifies the sentence.
Comma after “Yesterday” at the Beginning of a Sentence?
When “yesterday” is at the beginning of a sentence, you should always place a comma after it if it modifies the whole sentence. If you are using it to show when something took place, the comma will help you treat “yesterday” as an introductory clause.
You can use it as an introductory clause in the following way:
- Yesterday, I decided against doing those things.
If you place “yesterday” at the start of the sentence like this, it allows you to modify the rest of the clause that comes after.
There is one exception to “yesterday” at the start of a sentence without a comma. If you use it as a noun rather than an adverb, you will find that it looks like this:
- Yesterday was a good day.
Here, no comma comes after “yesterday” because it is a noun and isn’t modifying the rest of the sentence.
When to Use Comma after “Yesterday”
You should place a comma after “yesterday” in only a few situations. When “yesterday” is an introductory adverb (at the start of the sentence), a comma should come after it.
- Yesterday, I made it clear that I wasn’t going to be able to help them out.
- Yesterday, you told me a few things that hurt my feelings. I want you to apologize for them.
- Yesterday, I went to the beach. I’m not sure if I’ll be doing that again, though.
- Yesterday, I heard some things that I wasn’t happy about. I wish I could take back what I heard.
- Yesterday, there were some arguments in the house. I think it’s time we all sat down and had a chat.
There is one other case where a comma might come after “yesterday:”
- We were supposed to go yesterday, but we decided against it.
- It was yesterday, and I had a good time.
- They told me yesterday, so I let them know how I felt.
If a word like “and” or “but” (coordinating conjunctions) comes after “yesterday,” you will place a comma after it. This rule is not specific to “yesterday,” though. This is a standard rule in the English language.
When to Not Use Comma after “Yesterday”
You do not need to use a comma after “yesterday” in most cases. It is a noun and an adverb of time. Neither construct requires a comma when it is a key part of the sentence. The comma is only required when it is an introductory adverb.
These examples should help you figure it out:
- I wasn’t here yesterday, so I don’t have much of an idea of what’s happening. Can you help clue me in?
- I’m going to go back to yesterday because that was when I was at my happiest. I can’t do this again.
- I did all of that yesterday so that I wouldn’t have to do it again. Why are you making me work for it?
- Is it yesterday again? I swear I heard you say all of these things the other day!
- She told me all about it yesterday. I’m not sure what I want to do with the information now, though.
“Yesterday” comes up in many situations, making it a useful word to include in your writing. You do not need to include a comma alongside it in nearly every case.
Comma before “Yesterday”?
A comma rarely comes before “yesterday” because it doesn’t make grammatical sense. The only time you might find a comma before “yesterday” is when “yesterday” is the first word of a parenthetical element. This is a rare instance, though.
Generally, if you find that a comma comes before “yesterday,” it is wrong. Most of the time, there is no reason to include a comma before an adverb of time, and “yesterday” is no exception to this.
It’s a rare circumstance if a comma does come before “yesterday,” but these examples will help you to understand it:
- I decided on two days, yesterday and tomorrow, but neither of them is going to be the best option here.
- I thought about it, yesterday and today, and I decided to do something about it.
- I am trying to tell you, yesterday was not a good day. Why don’t you believe me?
The commas can be removed in all of the above examples, and the sentence will still make sense. This shows that commas rarely come before words like “yesterday.”
Since “yesterday” is an adverb of time, it’s rare to see commas used with it. You do not have to use them when it is a simple noun or adverb in a sentence. You should only place a comma after it when it is an introductory adverb emphasizing the sentence.