“Yet” is an adverb and conjunction. It can be used in a few different ways, and it’s helpful to know how to use punctuation around it when writing it yourself. This article will explain placing a comma before and after “yet” (and when to leave the comma out).
Comma Before or After “Yet”?
You should place a comma before “yet” when it’s a conjunction followed by an independent clause, such as “he said this, yet he did that”). You should place a comma after “yet” when it is an introductory clause, such as “yet, I feared for him.”
- The comma comes before when “yet” is a conjunction introducing an independent clause.
- The comma comes after when “yet” is the first word of a new sentence.
- You can avoid commas if “yet” is an adverb modifying another verb or adjective within the sentence.
Here are a few examples to show you when to place a comma before yet in the middle of a sentence:
- I was not there, yet I could tell they wanted me to be.
- You should have seen it, yet you couldn’t be bothered to come.
Here, “yet” is a conjunction used to link two independent clauses. It’s commonly used like this when talking about how something occurred despite another thing previously mentioned. “Yet” is synonymous with “However” and is used to talk about contrasting things.
These examples will demonstrate how to place a comma after yet at the beginning of a sentence:
- Yet, there was no one around to look out for him.
- Yet, here you are again. And nobody wants you.
Common style guides such as AP Style and The Chicago Manual of Style dictate that commas should offset conjunctions when grouping two independent clauses. You should also offset an introductory adverb like “yet” when starting a sentence with it.
When to Place a Comma Before “Yet”
There are a few reasons why you might place a comma before “yet.”
The main reason is that “yet” is the first word of a new independent clause linking back to the previous one. You should be able to spot this based on the pronoun usage after “yet:”
- I did not think about this, yet I could tell you were going to be here.
- She told me I was right, yet she still didn’t let me in.
As long as a pronoun comes after “yet,” a comma should come before it.
You may also find the comma comes before “and yet,” which is a variation of the standard “yet” term:
- I told you not to come here, and yet here you are.
Conceptually, the comma works the same. You should place it before “and” rather than “yet” to show that a new clause has started.
In some cases, you might find placing a comma before yet at the end of a sentence works well. This is dictated by the pause you take while speaking.
If you take a pause before saying “yet” at the end of a sentence, it implies that you’ll get around to something soon.
These two examples will demonstrate what that means:
- I haven’t done it yet.
- I haven’t done it, yet.
The comma before yet isn’t common here, but it’s correct. Without the comma, it implies you haven’t done something without worrying about when you might do it. The comma implies you are planning on doing something as soon as you get the chance.
When to Place a Comma After “Yet”
A comma can also come after “yet” in some circumstances. This occurs when “yet” starts a new sentence, as the comma treats it as an introductory adverb to modify the whole sentence.
Here are some examples to show you how that works:
- I thought I told you to come to me first. Yet, you did not think to inform me about this situation.
- I should have been there for you. Yet, I was not able to deliver the goods.
Here, “yet” modifies the whole second clause. This allows you to talk about something that did not occur or contradicts the previous clause or statement.
When to Use “Yet” Without a Comma
You do not need to include a comma with “yet” when it’s at the end of a sentence. It’s more common to avoid a comma completely here.
- I won’t do it yet. I need to figure some things out.
- We have not seen them yet. What did you think about them?
You do not need a comma with “yet” here because it is used as an adverb to modify a verb. In this first example, “do” is modified by “yet.” “Yet” modifies “seen” in the second example. When this occurs, no commas are needed.
You may also place “yet” in the sentence without a comma. As long as “yet” modifies a verb or adjective, you do not need to include a comma.
- The yet undisclosed location should be announced quite soon.
- It is not yet here, but I’m sure we’ll see more of it!
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.