18721001439_b79fc1e9fb_bComma before too?

English is a living, breathing language that changes constantly. Each year new words are added to the dictionary, separate words combine to form new terms, other words fall out of favor. Likewise, rules and punctuation evolve over time with the tendency toward more informal language and less punctuation.

Case in point…the comma before too in a sentence when too means also. For example:

I love bananas, apples, and peaches too.

Do you place a comma after the last word before too?

I love bananas, apples, and peaches, too.

Mrs. Gilbert in my ninth grade English class taught me to do that. Maybe your teachers did the same, and you are still faithfully following their instruction.

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, “Use commas with too only when you want to emphasize an abrupt change of thought:

He didn’t know at first what hit him, but then, too, he hadn’t ever walked in a field strewn with garden rakes.

In most other cases, commas with this short adverb are unnecessary.”

The example I used above is correct without the comma:

I love bananas, apples, and peaches too.

This is Chicago Manual of Style’s recommendation, but it is not a hard and fast rule. Daily Writing Tips puts it this way, “The bottom line is, there’s no clear rule that either specifies using the comma or forbids it. It’s the writer’s choice. The rules of grammar don’t often allow writers to have choices. It’s kind of nice to be thrown a bone from time to time.”

What is your practice? Do you include this comma? Will you change your way of punctuating this situation now? Tell us about it.

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