Rule 1: You must use a comma after “today” when starting a sentence with “today” as an introductory adverb.
- Correct: Today, the application process will begin.
- Incorrect: Today the application process will begin.
Rule 2: Use a comma after “today” when it is the final word in a clause and a conjunction like “and,” “but,” etc. follows it.
- Correct: I thought I would see him today, but he called to cancel.
- Incorrect: I thought I would see him today but he called to cancel.
Rule 3: If “today” acts as a noun, which is its most common function, do not use a comma after it.
- Correct: I need to do it today because it’s the last day.
- Incorrect: I need to do it today, because it’s the last day.
In the rest of the article, we explain how to use commas with “today” in more detail and show more examples of them in context.
Also, we have some great example sentences to show you. They make all the rules much easier to understand!
When to Use a Comma After “Today”
Please refer to Rules 1 and 2 when deciding whether to use a comma after “today.”
Rule 1: Use a comma after “today” when it is the first word in the sentence.
When it appears as the first word, “today” is an introductory adverb, which always requires a comma. This rule is also true in formal writing styles such as AP and Chicago.
This same rule also applies to other words that begin sentences such as “currently,” “furthermore,” and “yesterday.”
Have a look at these examples to better understand the rule:
- Today, we went to the park for a few hours to walk the dogs.
- Today, I start my new job.
- Today, many students are participating in the school’s annual sports event.
- Today, I learned an important life lesson about kindness.
The exception to this rule is when you use “today” with the verb “is.”
Because the verb needs to connect to the word “today,” you should not use a comma.
Here are some examples of this:
- Today is a beautiful day.
- Today is his birthday.
- Today feels warmer than yesterday.
- Today marks the 10th anniversary of the company.
Rule 2: Use a comma after “today” when it is the last word in a clause.
When this happens, a conjunction such as “and/but/for/so” etc. appears after “today.”
This rule applies to all words at the ends of clauses and is not only applicable to “today.”
These examples will show you the concept:
- She said she would send it today, but it still hasn’t arrived.
- I think we should go shopping today, and then we can relax at the weekend.
- We’re having a family dinner at my grandmother’s house today, so I’ll be home late.
Now, let’s have a closer look at when you shouldn’t use a comma after “today.”
When to Avoid a Comma After “Today”
You should only avoid a comma after “today” when Rule 3 applies.
Rule 3: You shouldn’t use a comma after “today” when it functions as a noun.
This is commonly when “today” appears in any other position in a sentence other than the start.
Here are some example sentences where this is the case:
- We need to cut the grass today because I will be too busy tomorrow.
- I am seeing her today for lunch.
- We have an important meeting today to discuss future plans.
- She told me she would call today with the results.
- I need to finish all these tasks today before I leave.
However, there is an exception to this rule. When “today” functions to “reinforce” another noun as an unnecessary compliment, you need to use commas.
This is not a common structure, but it is correct.
Review these examples to see this sentence structure:
- I have been waiting for this day, today, for a long time.
- As I told you last week, this Wednesday, today, we will be doing an exam.
- The conference that we’ve been preparing for, today, is crucial for our team’s success.
- He mentioned that the party, today, will start at 8 pm.
- My favorite artist is performing in the city, today, and I’m excited to see him live.
As you can see, this isn’t a natural way to structure a sentence. Therefore, you should in most cases exclude a comma with “today,” when the word appears in the middle of your sentence.
You must use a comma after “today” when it appears first in a sentence. Also, put a comma when it appears last in a clause followed by a conjunction like “and.” Don’t use a comma when “today” is a noun in the middle or at the end of sentences.