Use of Comma With 'After all'

When interrupting the sentence flow, use a comma before and after the expression "after all" in the middle of a sentence. At the start of a sentence, "after all" must be followed by a comma when meaning "despite that" or "because".

When interrupting the sentence flow, use a comma before and after the expression "after all" in the middle of a sentence.

She was, after all, one of the ten greatest actresses of all time.

She was after all one of the ten greatest actresses of all time.

At the start of a sentence, "after all" must be followed by a comma when meaning "despite that" or "because".

I had to help them. After all, they are my parents.

I had to help them. After all they are my parents.

1. 'After all' (meaning 'despite that' or 'because')

In this section, we cover the punctuation of the expression "after all" when meaning:

  • Despite problems or doubts. For example: "We must admit, after all, that she is right."
  • "Because" (used to explain what has been said). For example: "Job satisfaction is more important than big salary. After all, money isn't everything."

To interrupt the sentence flow in the middle of a sentence, use commas to set off the expression "after all".

I have to take care of her. She is, after all, the only sister I have.

I have to take care of her. She is after all the only sister I have.

You should also use commas to separate other expressions, such as "by the way" or "on the other hand", to interrupt the sentence flow.

When introducing a new sentence, "after all" should be followed by a comma.

After all, he fixed his 20-year-old car.

After all he fixed his 20-year-old car.

At the end of your sentence, you can optionally add a comma in front of "after all" to indicate a brief pause.

I know that Alfred has been dieting, but he is still overweight, after all.

Frequently, however, we omit the comma at the end of the sentence to sound more natural and achieve continuity.

Yes, it was raining, but we played soccer after all.

Recommended: When to use a comma after a conjunctive adverb

More examples

  • I'm very sorry, but I've decided not to go after all.
  • It was, after all, a difficult decision to make.
  • After all, I'm not convinced if ending my relationship was the right choice.
  • Yes, I still love him—after all, he is my husband.
  • What did John say about her, after all?
  • Alice didn't call after all.
  • My sister worked really hard, but she didn't succeed after all.
  • My wife was, after all, interested in biochemistry and geophysics.
  • After all, you are the most important person in my life.

2. 'After all' Without Commas

We do not typically add commas when using "after all" in its basic sense.

After all these years, I have very fond memories of Chicago.

After all these years, I have very fond memories of Chicago.

Avoid also the comma after "after all" to introduce the idiom "after all is said and done".

After all is said and done, the decision to accept the job offer is a personal one.

After all, is said and done, the decision to accept the job offer is a personal one.

More examples

  • After all the items have been classified, we can start the auction.
  • After all these weeks of hard work, we didn't get the promised compensation.
  • She couldn't believe that Peter would do this after all this time.
  • After all these weeks of preparation, I'm not sure how to play the game.
  • This is what comes after all has been destroyed.
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