I rarely go out on a limb and say the word never in answer to a punctuation question, but I am going to chance it this time: Never put a comma after although--unless what follows it is a completely nonessential interruption. Okay, so it turns out I still can't say never. But let's examine why I want to say never. I have recently seen writers incorrectly do this:
Although, Betsy did not want to go swimming that day, Tommy convinced her to jump.
Although, when the water is warm, she loves to go swimming in the ocean, that day the water was cold.
In the first example, there is no reason for a comma afteralthough. The word although is not a transition word ( likehowever, therefore, or moreover). Instead, although is a "subordinating conjunction." It creates a subordinate clause and is actually part of the clause.
In the second example, the comma after although appears to form a pair with the comma after warm, making the introductory clause "when the water is warm" look as though it is parenthetical, or nonessential. However, it is not nonessential, because if you remove it from the sentence, the part about "that day the water was cold" becomes a non sequitur.
Let's look at an example where the word although is actually followed by an interruption, rather than by an introductory clause:
Although, as Pete said, the rain stopped by midnight, the stream was still flooded at 6 am.
The interrupter "as Pete said" is surrounded by commas, meaning you can leave it out and the sentence does not suffer a loss of meaning.
In speech people sometimes pause after the word althoughwith index finger raised, quizzical look on face, appearing to think of a new thought that contradicts what they just said and that might make them change their mind. In these cases, people tend to pronounce the word although in a long, drawn out manner with an emphasis in the middle: al-THOUGH-ohhh. Their words might be punctuated like this:
I intend to fire Jim--although--didn't he just win a new account? [I might be changing my mind.]
The dashes indicate interrupted thought and a complete departure from the gist of the sentence. A comma would not be a strong enough punctuation mark to indicate this kind of interruption. Contrast that with this:
I intend to fire Jim, although [or even though] he just won a new account. [I'm still going to fire him.]
I intend to purchase a new laptop, although my old one still works.
By far the majority of sentences with although in everyday business, training, or marketing are these ordinary uses, not the long, drawn out because-I-might-be-changing-my-mind types of sentences. So, I return to my original statement: don't use a comma after although.
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