So, I have noticed that sometimes comma appears before と, sometimes its after it, and there are also time that there is no comma at all. Does it hint something? Is there some kind of rule?

慣れた者だと限りなく本物に近い敵を出すことができるので、一人でできる訓練としては効果的と、魔力を持つ者の多くが学んでいる。relative pronoun
気分転換にもなるな、と壁に立てかけてある剣に目をやった. quotation
しばらく戦った後にカイルは荒い息でそう言うと動きを止めた。and then

1 Answer 1


Basically there are very few rules for Japanese commas, but there is a tendency regarding と.

A comma tends to be inserted between direct speech and と.

  • 彼は帰りたくないよ、と呟いた。 = 彼は「帰りたくないよ」と呟いた。
  • 思わずそれは嘘だ、と叫んだ。 = 思わず「それは嘘だ!」と叫んだ。

If と is used as a conjunction, a comma must be placed after と.

  • よく見ると、それは光っている。
  • 魔女が杖を振ると、カボチャが馬車に変わりました。

For other と, commas are usually inserted after the と.

For all the cases above, commas can be completely left out, especially when the clause before it is short.

  • 彼女はおはようと微笑んだ。
  • よく見るとそれは光っている。

Extra commas can be inserted to express emphasis or emotion. The following is perfectly fine if the author wants to put an emphasis on this sentence.

  • 思わず、それは嘘だ、と、叫んだ。
  • Is it possible to see a comma when listing nouns? 「Aと、B」 A and B.
    – firuvi
    May 9, 2022 at 18:07
  • 1
    @firuvi It's usually redundant, but commas can be naturally inserted 1) to increase readability especially when items are long clauses, or 2) when it's read out loud slowly.
    – naruto
    May 10, 2022 at 0:34

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