Do You Need to Use a Comma before ‘Otherwise?’ 

In almost every circumstance, you should insert a comma following the word “otherwise.” It is an example of an adverb used in the conjunctive role, which connects two clauses with each other. When connecting two separate clauses, it functions most effectively. Otherwise, the placement of a comma before the word “otherwise” is never appropriate. 

When to Use a Comma After ‘Otherwise’

When “otherwise” connects two clauses, a comma should be used. We always use commas after “otherwise” because it is the most common usage.

Examples of using ‘otherwise’ to connect two different sentences are:

  • I did not drink anymore that night, otherwise, things could have gone much differently.
  • You should not have revealed yourself, otherwise, I could have helped you!
  • It needed to be done, otherwise, the dog could have gotten loose.

As you can see, the word “otherwise” is utilized the majority of the time when connecting two phrases or clauses to one another. In this sense, it is an extremely helpful conjunctive adverb, and we ought to be aware that commas are required to follow it whenever it appears in this form.

When to Use a Comma Before ‘Otherwise’

When it is part of a parenthetical element, put a comma before “otherwise.” When we use it in this context, it has to be the first word, and we do it to demonstrate how something could be known as a replacement.

Examples of how to use a comma before ‘otherwise’ are:

  • My dog Banjo, also known as the dirt digger, dug up an entire mole out of the ground yesterday.
  • My friend, otherwise known as Jessie, graduated from college when she was only 16 years old!
  • You should steer clear of Mr. Robertson, otherwise known as Richard.

Can I Use ‘Otherwise’ Without a Comma?

There is one more example of punctuation that we have yet to discuss. You may have read this article and considered a situation in which a comma is not required with “Otherwise.”

When using “otherwise” as an adjective to speak about something which happens in other ways to something else, you don’t need to use a comma. We can also use it as an adverb without a comma to describe how something is impacted in other ways.

Here are several examples of how to use ‘otherwise’ without a comma at all:

  • The otherwise savory dinner has surprisingly exceeded my expectations.
  • I could not have said it better otherwise.
  • We need to speak about the otherwise completely irrelevant feats performed at the carnival today.