By Mary Morel
Reader’s question: I would like to know the appropriate punctuation when using the words however, therefore, furthermore.
Answer: My guidelines for words such as however, therefore and furthermore (adverbial conjuncts) are as follows.
If you use these words at the beginning of a sentence, put a comma after them.
However, we intend following up shortly.
Some modern writers are now dropping the comma, but I still like it because I think it indicates a pause.
Use a semicolon and comma with these words to introduce a new independent clause in the middle of a sentence.
We plan to stay for another year; however, Peter is leaving now.
When you use however, furthermore or therefore as intensifiers or for emphasis, you need commas around both sides of them.
We, however, do not agree with the verdict.
PS An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought.
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