Commas With the Expressions ‘At the same time’ and ‘For the time being’

We do not typically use a comma before or after an adverbial phrase, such as “at the same time” or “for the time being”, to separate the phrase from the verb it describes.

We do not typically use a comma before or after an adverbial phrase, such as “at the same time” or “for the time being”, to separate the phrase from the verb it describes.

They both arrived at the same time.

But you can optionally add a comma at the beginning of a sentence to clarify or add emphasis.

For the time being, it is better to be cautious on this matter and not take any chances.

When using the expression “at the same time that...” to introduce a subordinating clause at the start of a sentence, add a comma after it.

At the same time that she disappeared from the courtroom, the pronouncement happened.

1. ‘At the same time’ and ‘For the time being’ as Introductory Phrases

At the beginning of a sentence, we do not need to put a comma after short prepositional phrases (less than four words), like “at the same time” or “for the time being”.

For the time being the decision remains in force.

But you can use it to add emphasis or clarify the meaning of the sentence.

For the time being, economic stability remains the core objective of the central bank after a prolonged period of inflation.

The expression “at the same time” can be followed by the word “that” and a subordinating clause. In such a situation, add a comma after the whole subordinating clause that follows.

At the same time that Olivia was preparing to leave, Peter returned home.

2. Commas in the Middle or at the End of a Sentence

When using a prepositional phrase in the middle or at the end of a sentence, a comma before or after it is commonly unnecessary.

My motorcycle broke down, and I am using my wife’s car for the time being.

Can you have two girlfriends at the same time without lying all the time?

It was unfortunate that they both arrived at the same time.

The meeting had been held at the same time as an equally important briefing.

Follow the same comma rules with the expression "in the meantime" to refer to a period between two times or events.

There are particular sentence structures, however, where commas may be required. For example, use commas to avoid confusion, add nonessential information, signal a strong interruption, or separate coordinate phrases.

Olivia and David arrived to Paris to forget about the past and, at the same time, start a new life together.

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