Rule 1: If you place the word “please” at the end of a sentence, you must almost always use a comma before it.
- Correct: Can you give me a hand with these bags, please?
- Incorrect: Can you give me a hand with these bags please?
Rule 2: When “please” is a conjunction that connects two clauses, you should put a comma before it but not after it.
- Correct: If you see Mike, please tell him to stop by my office.
- Incorrect: If you see Mike please tell him to stop by my office.
Rule 3: If “please” starts a sentence, the comma after it is optional.
- Correct: Please, lock the door and turn the lights off when you leave.
- Correct: Please lock the door and turn the lights off when you leave.
Rule 4: If “please” appears in the middle of a sentence and is not the first word of a clause, either use two commas or no comma.
- Correct: Could you please turn down the music?
- Correct: Could you, please, turn down the music?
- Incorrect: Could you please, turn down the music?
Rule 5: If “please” is a verb, you should not use a comma before or afterward.
- Correct: She tries to please other people before she thinks of herself.
- Incorrect: She tries to please, other people before she thinks of herself.
Rule 6: When you use “please” as a noun, and the clause is defining, do not put a comma before or after.
- Correct: He did not even say please when he paid the bill.
- Incorrect: He did not even say, please when he paid the bill.
- Incorrect: He did not even say please, when he paid the bill.
Do you still have doubts about using commas before and after “please”? Keep reading the rest of the page to ensure you never get it wrong again.
When to Use a Comma Before “Please”
When choosing whether to put a comma before “please,” you should refer to Rules 1 and 2.
Rule 1: Use a comma before “please” at the end of the sentence to be polite.
For example, inserting “please” at the end of the sentence is common when you are requesting something or asking questions.
- Would you tell him to call me, please?
- Even if you don’t like cleaning, I would like you to make an effort, please.
Rule 2: Use a comma before “please” when it connects two clauses, i.e., it is the first word in the second clause.
- If you can’t come to the dinner on Friday, please let me know as early as possible.
However, when “please” appears in the middle of a sentence but is not the first word in a clause, there is no comma.
- Would all members please note that we will be closed on Sundays.
When to Use a Comma After “Please”
Check Rule 3 to see when you can put a comma after “please.”
Rule 3: Use a comma after “please” at the beginning of a sentence.
You should be aware that you can also omit this comma, and the sentence is still correct.
- Correct: Please, tell everyone the meeting is canceled.
- Correct: Please tell everyone the meeting is canceled.
Furthermore, several common phrases start sentences with “please.” When you use these phrases, there is not usually a comma.
As shown in these examples:
- Please find attached the report you asked me to send.
- Please be advised that we will close from the 23rd to the 29th.
- Please find below the information you requested.
- Please keep in mind that it will be cold, so you must dress suitably.
- Please remember to bring a coat and strong shoes.
- Please find enclosed a small token of our appreciation.
When to Avoid a Comma With “Please”
You should check Rules 4, 5, and 6 to see when a comma is not necessary with “please.”
Rule 4: You shouldn’t use a comma with “please” when it appears in the middle of a defining clause.
These sentences will often be single-clause sentences, but they can also have multiple clauses. As shown in these examples:
- I am begging you to please hurry; we are late for work.
- We request that you please fill the form in black ink.
However, if you want to create a pause around “please”, you can put a comma before and after it. In these cases, you must add both commas and not just one:
- I request that you, please, do not do that again.
Rule 5: You shouldn’t use a comma with “please” when you use it as a verb.
In this context, it refers to pleasing somebody or something being pleasing.
- At this company, we aim to please all our customers.
- Our daughter pleases herself and does what she wants most of the time.
Rule 6: You shouldn’t use a comma with “please” when you use it as a noun.
In these cases, you are referring to the word itself rather than using the gesture.
- A little please and thank you goes a long way.
However, if there are two clauses and “please” is the final word of the clause, you need to put a comma afterward.
- She gave me a false sounding please, but she didn’t sound like she meant it.
Use a comma before “please” when it is a polite word at the end of a sentence. For sentences beginning with “please,” the comma afterward is optional. Furthermore, mid-sentence “please” usually doesn’t have a comma unless it is the first or last word in a clause.