Grammar Do Therefore, Moreover, and Furthermore Need Commas? |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Do Therefore, Moreover, and Furthermore Need Commas?

Therefore, moreover, and furthermore are curious words in modern English. They appear often enough to make us somewhat familiar with their usage and meaning. At the same time, they are deployed rarely enough (and with a classical feeling) such that we might not always be sure we’re using them correctly.

That leads us to today’s question: What is proper comma use for therefore, moreover, and furthermore?

As it turns out, it all depends on how you are using each of these words. Let’s take a closer look to arrive at guidelines you can use.

The Meanings of Therefore, Moreover, and Furthermore

Before we jump into comma usage, let’s first review the meanings of each word:

Definition: for that reason
Example: I finished medical school. Therefore, I am familiar with the differences among blood types.

Definition: besides
Example: You should know I arrived in the office before anyone else. Moreover, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to be late, because it was my day off.

Definition: in addition
Example: My dog is very well behaved. Furthermore, he never barks at strangers.

How to Punctuate Therefore, Moreover, and Furthermore

Now that we have quick definitions, let’s review how to properly punctuate these words. As mentioned, much will depend on how they are being used in a sentence.

1) If one of these words begins a sentence, simply add a comma afterward:

The football game was dull. Moreover, the weather made for a poor day at the stadium.

I was a founding member of that club. Furthermore, I was one of its first newsletter editors.

2) In some contexts, a writer may choose to further connect related sentences by separating them with a semicolon instead of a period. In these cases a comma would also follow the word.

The football game was dull; moreover, the weather made for a poor day at the stadium.

I was a founding member of that club; furthermore, I was one of its first newsletter editors.

3) If using one of these words for inserted parenthetical emphasis, include a comma before and after the word.

Jamaal’s chosen solution, therefore, is simply to use more WD-40.

The Caribbean resort, furthermore, will let you escape the dog days of Midwestern winter for a week.

The Best Way to Remember the Punctuation of Therefore, Moreover, and Furthermore

If you want to master this part of English grammar, you have two good ways to do it. The first is to simply memorize the guidelines we’ve shared in this post. They are basic, and they also work for similar words such as however.

The second approach is just to type a comma wherever you would find yourself pausing if speaking the text you are writing. That subtle technique can often support the right structure and pace of your sentences.

Looking for More Grammar Tips?

Topics such as grammar and punctuation might sometimes seem challenging until you become familiar with the simple rules behind them. As you become increasingly acquainted with them, the language will continue to open to you. Come back again soon for even more insight into grammar, writing, and spelling in American English!

If the article or the existing discussions do not address a thought or question you have on the subject, please use the "Comment" box at the bottom of this page.

Leave a Comment or Question:

Please ensure that your question or comment relates to the topic of the blog post. Unrelated comments may be deleted. If necessary, use the "Search" box on the right side of the page to find a post closely related to your question or comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *