Consider this dialog:

—¿El hotel está bien, Dana?

Ella levantó los hombros.

—Estuve en peores. Este por lo menos tiene agua caliente.

Check the last line. Should it be: "Estuve en peores. Este, por lo menos, tiene agua caliente."?

1 Answer 1


According to the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas (DPD), there are these rules for the use of coma that may concern to you:

1.1 Deben utilizarse dos comas, una delante del comienzo del inciso y otra al final [...] en aposiciones explicativas [...] o cuaqluier otra clase de comentario, explicación o precisión.

1.2.11. Se escribe coma detrás de determinados enlaces [...], así como detrás de muchos adverbios o locuciones adverbiales que modifican a toda la oración y no solo a uno de sus elementos.

This means that we use coma when 1) we introduce extra information that is not syntactically related with any other part of the sentence (like the relationship between subject and predicate), and 2) we use a locución adverbial (adverb phrase) to modify the whole sense of the sentence.

So, in your exemple, we do have to use coma because por lo menos —a locución adverbial that denotes an exception, according to the Diccionario de la Lengua Española,— is both giving extra info and modifying the whole sense of the sentence. That hotel is bad BUT it has hot water and the others didn't.

  • 1
    I think we call it an adverb phrase.
    – mdewey
    Feb 2, 2019 at 13:08

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